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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    11 October 2012 

World Bank says growth in E Asia to pick up next year


Economic growth in the East Asia and Pacific region - covering 14 countries, including Thailand - may slow by a full percentage point to 7.2 per cent this year, before recovering to 7.6 per cent next year, according to a World Bank report.

Economic rebalancing continues as domestic demand, propelled by huge investment in infrastructure in several countries, will play a significant role to offset negative impacts on the export sector, according to the WB's "East Asia and Pacific Economic Data Monitor", released yesterday.

Excluding China, the average growth rate for Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Fiji, Laos, Mongolia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and East Timor is predicted to be 5.3 per cent this year and 5.5 per cent in 2013.

The WB forecasts for Thailand's gross domestic product are 4.5 per cent and 5 per cent respectively.

"The East Asia and Pacific region's share in the global economy has tripled in the last two decades, from 6 per cent to almost 18 per cent today, which underscores the critical importance of this region's continued growth for the rest of the world," said World Bank Group president Jim Yong Kim.

Pamela Cox, WB East Asia and Pacific regional vice president, added: "Even under difficult global circumstances, poverty in the region will continue to decline, with the share of people living on US$2 [61 baht] a day expected to reach 24.5 per cent by the end of 2013, down from 28.8 per cent in 2010.

"Weaker demand for East Asia's exports is slowing the regional economy, but compared [with] other parts of the world, it's still growing strongly, and thriving domestic demand will enable the region's economy to bounce back to 7.6 per cent next year," she said.

The euro-zone crisis has already had significant impacts on developing economies. Risks are lower in light of the European Central Bank's bond-buying programme and the launch of the European Stability Mechanism, but uncertainties remain. A crisis in the euro zone will adversely affect the economies in the East Asia and Pacific mainly through trade and links to the financial sector, the WB said.

The report considers food-price increases less of a risk for East Asia at this stage, however, as rice markets remain well supplied.

With a major crisis, GDP growth in the region could drop by more than 2 percentage points next year. As inflationary pressures are receding across the region, the WB considers that monetary policy is accommodative to crisis, while on the fiscal side, policy actions have remained more limited in the region.

Export growth for East Asia as a whole slowed to 4.5 per cent in the second quarter of this year, easily outpaced by import growth of 5.2 per cent, and trade as a whole no longer contributed to the region's growth.
All of the other major economies in the region saw a decline in exports, a sharp change from the export-growth rates of 15-20 per cent recorded last year.

Investment boom
The report cites reconstruction spending in Thailand after last year's floods as among the factors buttressing domestic demand in the region.
In addition, such countries as Indonesia - together with Thailand and Malaysia - are currently enjoying a boom in spending by their governments and the private sector on capital goods.

Read the rest of the Story below...


First time outside China and first time in Bangkok: A Multi-Billion$ industry event
The 7th Railworld Summit 2012, Oct 24-26, 2012. The Dusit Thani hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

China’s leading event organizer CDMC (China Decision Makers Consultancy) and AABC (AseanAffairs Business Council) – the business platform of C.I.A. (China-India-Asean) and AseanAffairs- the only global media dedicated to SE Asia brings to Bangkok and Asean for the first time, the prestigious Rail World Summit 2012 to be held for the seventh time and first time outside China.

Southeast Asia is one of the most dynamic, fast-growing regions in the world today. It offers a market of 590 million people, rich natural resources, skilled labor, and an export industry concentrated in global high-growth sectors – all tied together in a free-trade area, ASEAN.

This year’s event will enter a new chapter in Bangkok, Thailand, 24th-26th October. The three-day summit will address the most critical industry issues in Southeast Asia and globally and will draw attendees from government, railway authorities, projects, equipment and technology companies, aiming to help to gauge the pulse of this dynamic industry and get caught up with the most cutting edge railway technologies.

The market for rail technology in Southeast Asia currently has a volume of approximately EUR 1.8 billion. The market will grow at a significantly higher level than other regions. We expect growth of 6% per year to around EUR 2.4 billion in 2016. Though the region makes up only a small share of market volume for railway technology in Asia compared to China, India and Japan, the region is very interesting for international players due to its relative openness and low local competition.

The summit has been extended to feature a post-congress full-day site tour on the third day, which is a tailor-made site visit with high-end reception designed to witness the remarkable advancement of industry facilities, and will leave with practical skills and new contacts.

The conference will draw over 270 participants, bringing together with government and association, railway authorities, metro/LRT operators, project owners, planning & design institutes, equipment & technology vendor and IT solution companies.

Some of the confirmed companies
from Europe, USA, China, India, Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia......Beijing Subway Operation Co., Ltd,  Siemens, Chongqing Rail Transit Corporation, AEG Brazilian National Agency for Land Transport, Rutherford Global Power, China Railway Group Limited,  Balfour Beatty Rail,  Shanghai Shentong Metro Co., Ltd, Ministry of Railways P.R.C., ADB ,Knorr-Bremse SfS GmbH, Indian Railways, Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway Co., Ltd, Bayer Materials, Korea Rail Networks Authority, GE Transportation,  BAE Systems, ABB Ashurst, EAO Zoller + Fröhlich GmbH, Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd.,Rockwell  Hitachi Cable, Nexans WaveTrain Systems, Itochu, Cisco   RZD ZOOMLION Komatsu, Halfen Rail Innovation Australia Pty Ltd, MAHLE Behr Industry Cooling Equipment (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.  Böhler Uddeholm, MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION, Rogers (Shanghai)

International Trading Co., Ltd. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer TOLL, Royal Cambodia railways, Nanjing Metro, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation,Konkan Railway Corporation Ltd. , Beijing Dinghan Tech Co., Ltd. , HOPPECKE Battery System GmbH, Crane Aerospace, CSM ERL Maintenance Support Sdn Bhd, Metrosolution Zublin, Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Fuji Electric, Voestalpine BWG GmbH & Co.KG, MRT Jakarta,  TUV Rhainland, Beijing General Municipal Engineering R & D Institute,  Guangshen Railway Co., Ltd   MOOG   Centro Sviluppo Materiali SpA Ashida ELECTRONICS (P) LTD. ,Technical Expert Network, UBM, Jindal Steel, Herbert Smith Bureau Veritas, China Railway 23rd Bureau Group Co.,Ltd. Bangkok Metro, Bangkok Metropolitan Authority, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD, Malaysia).

Hurry! Seats are Limited! Receive discounts on Individual & multiple bookings before 5 Oct 2012.
Email to request for Delegate Registration Form, Agenda, Sponsor Prospectus.

Or Register at:


Large Asean economies saw an average growth rate of 9.4 per cent in the second quarter, a trend that the WB expects to continue. In particular, investment spending in Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia is booming, and the latter has now reached investment-to-GDP levels equalling those from before the 1997 Asian financial crisis for the first time.
Policy-makers in East Asia and the Pacific will have to continue managing growth and reducing poverty in an environment that will remain volatile, the report says.

Countries that have experienced rapid expansion of credit need to be cautious, while exporters of commodities should continue to take measures and build institutions that help manage volatile commodity revenues.

"Over the medium term, increases in productivity in East Asia and the Pacific, which is increasingly becoming a middle-income region, will drive growth," said Bert Hofman, the bank's chief economist for East Asia and the Pacific. "Continued structural reforms, improvements in the business climate and investments in infrastructure and education systems will become more important."

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

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