Thailand has endured more than 12 years of successive political crises and economic stresses. In recent months, the news flow appears to have brightened a tad, raising the hopes that Thailand might finally be coming out of its long dark patch. There is growing evidence that the current cyclical recovery can be sustained, so the near term outlook seems to be better. Encouragingly, there are also so
Hardly a day passes these days without some news item that breathlessly reports yet another threat to Singapore's regional hub position. There is much concern about China’s mega projects under its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which some say will create rivals to Singapore. There is also talk about our neighbours' ambitions to displace Singapore in airports, ports and related services which ar
After languishing for many years because of cooling measures enforced by the Government, rising transaction volumes and stabilising property prices are encouraging hopes for a property market revival. The government’s tweaks to some of the macroprudential cooling measures have added to these hopes. But are these hopes realistic? The context: the insidious impact of property prices Before
After a long period of generally desultory performance, the Singapore economy is stirring to life. Economic growth has picked up, exports are reviving and even the property sector seems to be improving. Yet, other indicators are less exciting, raising the question of whether this rebound is sustainable. So, what is really going on and what are the prospects for Singapore? Overall, the economy i
The Philippine economy has defied the naysayers, continuing to grow at a rapid pace that has placed it as Southeast Asia's fastest growing nation. Encouragingly, the Duterte Administration’s respected economic policy team has built on past reforms to introduce new initiatives to strengthen the base for future growth. However, while President Duterte remains popular and retains the political init
Love it or hate it, Asia is inextricably tied into the US and however much China has grown in importance, it is still the US which will be the principal driver of Asia’s fortunes in the next few years. The good news is that the American economy appears poised for a strong pickup, one which will give a nice boost to the Asian economies. But beyond that cyclical bounce, several things could go wro
- Global economy: Latest data continues to suggest the US economy has fundamentally recovered. This could be cause for the Fed to tighten ahead of expectations.
- Geopolitics: Trump's first 10 days in office has brought with it proposed changes to trade, immigration and international relations. American credibility is on the line.
- Asian economies: In Asia, supportive policy actions remain key to long-term vibrancy.
- Asian politics: In India, political parties are gearing up for make-or-break legislative assembly elections.
- US President Donald Trump has officially withdrawn US from the TPP agreement. This wave of American isolationism is in stark contrast to the openness projected by China in recent weeks; China is poised to become increasingly influential in Asia.
- While existing TPP members can forge ahead and implement some sort of a TPP-lite deal without the US, countries may not be willing to open up politically sensitive sectors without commensurate economic returns that is access to the large US market.
- Export-oriented Asian economies could find it pragmatic and beneficial to establish closer economic ties with China and accept closer geostrategic relations too. Already, talks of accelerating the RCEP and even inviting China to participate in the TPP have begun.
- A recovery in global demand led by the G3 advanced economies have fed into export upturns in trade-focused East Asian economies. Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong have seen the renewed vigour in global trade leading to more robust growth.
- Furthermore, other Asian countries, such as those in Southeast Asia, will also see economic expansion being underpinned by an export upswing, chiefly in electronics and other tech components.
- There are increasing signs that suggest Malaysia could enjoy a good upside surprise to growth. There are near-term hurdles that need to be overcome, however the overall fading of negatives will alleviate strains on growth.
- Consumer psychology looks to have turned and will bolster private spending. Agricultural prospects are looking better and encouragingly, Malaysia looks to be a clear winner from the upswing in the global tech cycle.
- The risks lie in politics. With little time to remedy economic pain leading up to the general elections, rising discontent amongst voters could bring mischievous elements, such as stoking racial tensions, into play.