Our Insights


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    Asian economic growth is set to accelerate. After a long period of patchy and unconvincing recovery, there are signs that the global rebound is gaining enough traction to be a durable one. Better still, this upward lift is supporting higher export growth in Asia. More encouragingly, domestic engines of growth also seem to be regaining some vigour. Overall this means that the regional economies hav
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    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently issued its Article IV report on Singapore, which is like a report card on the country’s economic performance. The overall assessment was a positive one: the economy is recovering, inflation is low, the external sector is robust and the banking sector is in the pink of health. Monetary policies including macro-prudential measures appear to have been
  • Centennial Asian Advisor’s Chairman ROBERTO F. DE OCAMPO is invited to write as part of a compilation of selected articles from key ASEAN Thought Leaders to commemorate ASEAN’s 50th Anniversary. This article was published by The Strait times and Viet Nam News. The first step in Asean’s long journey to where it is today can perhaps be said to have been taken about 13 years before its form
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    Inflation, or more precisely the lack of inflation, has become a major point of contention for monetary policy makers and also for those seeking to understand where asset markets are heading. In general, this year has seen lower than expected inflation in developed economies. As a result, central banks in the US and Europe face a conundrum: Their economies have recovered from the ravages of the gl
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    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
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    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

Weekly RoundupCentennial Asia Insights

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    Key highlights from the CAA Weekly Table
    • 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.
    Asian economic integration headed in a new direction
    • 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.
    Trade intensity leading to Asian expansion
    • 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.
    Malaysia: Politics poses risk to upside potential
    • 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.