ASEAN: Finding Growth in a Slowing Global Economy - page 1

ASEAN: Finding Growth in a
Slowing Global Economy
Beyond China and India, Asia’s global heavyweights, the continent
harbors yet another dynamic and fast-growing region that remains
relatively unknown: the 10-nation grouping known as ASEAN, or the
Association of South East Asian Nations.
Formed in 1967 to promote regional solidarity and cooperation, and to
collectively leverage its influence in regional affairs, the grouping is broadly
separable into two blocs: “ASEAN-6” and “CLMV”— Cambodia, Laos,
Myanmar and Vietnam. The more developed ASEAN-6 comprises Singapore,
Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines and Brunei. Meanwhile, the
CLMV bloc shares the same characteristics of rapid growth, but tends to be at
an earlier stage in its economic development.
Despite the collective categorization implicit in the grouping, ASEAN nations
are highly diverse. This diversity ranges from distinct ethnicities and cultures,
varied languages and religions, different stages of economic development and
stages of demographic cycles to a wide range of political governance.
However, when looked at collectively, the region’s long-term potential
becomes more apparent. If ASEAN were a single economy, it would be the
world’s seventh-largest today. With its dynamic demographics, rising labor
force and productivity-enhancing structural transformation, urbanization,
and increased regional integration, we believe there are significant opportuni-
ties in this space awaiting discovery by the entrepreneurial active investor.
September 2016
Sriyan Pietersz
Investment Strategist
Matthews Asia
For Institutional/Professional Investor Use Only
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