Growth in Southeast Asia is forecast steady this year and next. Photo: iStock.
Southeast Asia continues to benefit from the rise in global trade and the pickup in commodity prices. It is expected to maintain its 2017 growth rate of 5.2% in both 2018 and 2019, according to the Asian Development Outlook 2018. The report is Asian Development Bank’s flagship annual economic publication.
This positive outlook includes countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion, which lies at the heart of Southeast Asia.
Growth in gross domestic product is forecast at 7.0% in Cambodia this year and next year, sustained by robust expansion in exports, strong foreign direct investment inflows, solid tourist arrivals, and buoyant domestic demand.
Growth is expected to continue at 6.8% in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic in 2018, as the industry slowdown that began last year persists but is compensated by slightly higher growth in services, and then pick up to 7.0% in 2019.
With continued economic reform, growth should be sustained at 6.8% in Myanmar this year and accelerate to 7.2% next year. Demand generated by foreign direct investment should continue to support growth.
Strong investment and domestic consumption will drive an acceleration in growth in Thailand to 4.0% this year and 4.1% next year.
An expansion in its industrial base will boost Viet Nam, with GDP growth expected to increase to 7.1% this year, then ease back to 6.8% in 2019.