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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   9 August 2013  

Philippines Asean's main economic engine

The Philippines is now Southeast Asia’s main economic engine, fuelled by strong domestic demand, to lead the rest of the region ahead of Asia this year, rating firm Standard & Poor’s (S&P) said.

While growth across Asia will continue to be dragged by worsening economic conditions in China and the tepid recovery in the US and Europe, S&P said in a report this week that strong domestic demand would allow Southeast Asia’s major markets to fare better than their trade-dependent peers.

S&P said Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were expected to grow collectively by 5.5 per cent this year. This is faster than the rating firm’s 5.3-per cent growth forecast for Asia Pacific as a whole.

“These economies are more domestically focused than the newly industrialised economies and therefore tend to do better when global growth is sluggish,” the report said.

S&P said the Philippines would stay ahead of its neighbours in the region, given its lowest reliance on exports compared to others in Southeast Asia

“The Philippines, which S&P recently upgraded to investment grade, has taken over the Asean growth leadership role from Indonesia,” the firm’s report said. “We project Philippine gross domestic product (GDP) to expand by almost 7 per cent this year, moderating to 6-6.5 per cent in 2014 and 2015,” S&P said. The firm’s growth forecast for the Philippines this year matched the top end of the government’s target growth of 6-7 per cent.

S&P said the biggest threat to the Asia Pacific’s growth was the performance of the Chinese economy, which is expected to grow below the government’s official target of 7.5 per cent partly as a result of a credit crunch that has choked businesses and households.

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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.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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