According to a recent interview with BNP Paribas Economist Christine Peltier, “although confronting new challenges, Asia’s economy is still the world’s growth engine, accounting for 62% of global GDP growth.”

Peltier highlighted the following developments:

  • Emerging Asia (excluding Japan) grew by 6.2% in 2018, unchanged from the previous year.
  • China economic growth decelerated from 6.8% to 6.6%.
  • South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia also decelerated.
  • However, India’s growth surged from 6.7% in 2017 to 7.4% in 2018
  • During 2018, Asia-Pacific region economic growth slowed in the second half of the year.
  • Trade figures improved in the third quarter as a result of new hi-tech products and increased exports prior to the imposition of US tariffs, while confidence declined.
  • While China growth remains stagnant, India growth is projected to continue. Trade performance will be significantly impacted by the results of US-China bilateral trade negotiations.

Similar observations and conclusions appear in a December report by Goldman Sachs.  And the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) also reported in December that economic expansion rates in Southeast Asia are “robust” despite headwinds, predicting that “GDP in Emerging Asia is estimated to grow by an annual average of 6.1% in 2019-23.”

While China-US bilateral trade negotiations loom large over the region, predictions for its’ ultimate outcome vary (The Straits Times for example report of possible “[s]upply chain disruption, higher prices, [and a] slowdown in hiring…”) — the overall consensus is for lengthy and continued growth region-wide – and a continuation of Asia as the world’s growth engine well into the next decade.

Posted by John Grimley

John Grimley edits and publishes Asia Law Portal. An independent writer & editor, he's the author of: A Comprehensive Guide to the Asia-Pacific Legal Markets (Ark Group 2014).

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