Southeast Asian Economic Outlook

OECD Development Centre

Frequency :
Annual
ISSN :
2225-3998 (online)
ISSN :
2225-398X (print)
DOI :
10.1787/22253998
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Southeast Asian Economic Outlook 2013

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Southeast Asian Economic Outlook 2013

With Perspectives on China and India You do not have access to this content

OECD Development Centre

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Author(s):
OECD
Publication Date :
01 Mar 2013
Pages :
360
ISBN :
9789264187245 (PDF) ; 9789264180765 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/saeo-2013-en

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This edition of the Southeast Asian Economic Outlook examines medium-term growth prospects, recent macroeconomic policy challenges, and structural challenges including human capital, infrastructure and SME development.  It also looks at economic disparities "between" and "within" countries in the region.  It provides coverage for Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

While solid growth is forecast to continue until 2017, countries must address structural issues in order to sustain this favourable outlook. Narrowing development gaps presents one of the region’s most important challenges.

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  • Click to Access:  Foreword

    Is this the Asian century? Emerging Asia has experienced remarkable economic growth and a steadfast recovery from the global crisis. According to this new edition of the OECD Southeast Asian Economic Outlook, a number of fast growing Southeast Asian economies, as well as China and India, will maintain their overall dynamism in the next five years. Strong economic performance will be essential for achieving sustained improvements in living standards and laying the foundations for more inclusive societies.

  • Click to Access:  Acknowledgements

    The 2013 edition of the Southeast Asian Economic Outlook: With Perspectives on China and India was prepared by the Asia Desk of the OECD Development Centre in Paris, in co-operation with the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

  • Click to Access:  Acronyms and abbreviations
  • Click to Access:  Preface

    Current global uncertainty underscores the need for Asian economies to rethink their growth and development strategies. The export-oriented approach, while successful in earlier decades, has now shown weaknesses. Excessive dependence on external demand has made many Asian countries vulnerable to fluctuations in global demand and to external shocks. Domestic demand will be an important engine for medium-term growth in the region

  • Click to Access:  Executive summary
  • Click to Access:  Overview
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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Regional economic monitor

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    • Click to Access:  Medium-term economic outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India: Prospects and assessments

      The resilience of the economies of Southeast Asia as well as China and India to external shocks from Europe and the United States and two major natural disasters has highlighted the strength of their underlying economic fundamentals. Growth should continue to be robust over the medium term, led in Southeast Asia by Indonesia, and with growth in China and India maintaining continued high level growth rates by 2017. Growth will be more dependent on domestic demand and current account surpluses will be considerably smaller in relation to gross domestic product (GDP) than in the years leading up to the Global Financial Crisis. Southeast Asian countries as well as China and India face important challenges in realising their medium-term growth potential. Capital inflows are likely to continue to be strong and will require careful management and further development of financial markets if their benefits are to be realised and their risks contained. Cambodia, the Lao PDR and Viet Nam will need skilful monetary policy management to deal with their extensive dollarisation and to foster gradual de-dollarisation. Fiscal capacities in all the countries of the region will need to be reformed to improve revenue mobilisation and create more efficient tax systems. The emergence and rapid growth of the middle class in Southeast Asia, China and India is already having important economic effects. Consumer demand is shifting towards greater importance for automobiles and other consumer durables and housing, as well as education, health and other services where governments play a key role. Prospects for continued rapid growth in the middle classes in the region are favourable but governments face important challenges in ensuring that this growth is supportive of further poverty reduction and other social goals and that the "middle-income trap" that has sometimes afflicted other developing countries is avoided.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Structural policy country notes

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    • Click to Access:  Structural policy challenges for Southeast Asian countries

      Many Southeast Asian countries are searching for new growth and development strategies to reflect the changing growth dynamism in the region and international market conditions. Policy makers in the region recognise the need to adapt their development strategies and indeed have included several new elements towards a new growth model in their medium-term development plans, which include human capital development, social and labour market policies, green economies and disparity issues. Implementation of the new development strategies will require the adoption of a comprehensive package of reform measures. Enhancement of productivity through structural policy reforms will be the key to the success of the new development strategies in the region. Starting from the second edition, this Outlook includes Structural Policy Country Notes on selected Southeast Asian countries – this year we have notes on seven countries: Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. The policy areas discussed in each note are identified in the national development plans of the country concerned. These structural policy country notes address what kinds of elements will be important for the new development strategies in Asia and how the countries incorporate new development models into their medium-term plans.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Thematic focus: Narrowing development gaps

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    • Click to Access:  Overview of development gaps in Southeast Asia: Gaps between ASEAN -6 and CLM V countries

      Narrowing social disparities and economic development gaps between countries are key challenges facing ASEAN as it works towards its endgoal of an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. Member countries differ in their levels of development, political systems, investment environments and economic structures. Their domestic agendas also often take precedence over regional integration. This chapter is designed to provide direction and focus for policy makers at the regional and country level. Accordingly, it examines the development differences and disparities in ASEAN, particularly between the prosperous, more highly developed group of countries (the ASEAN-6) and the more recent, less developed member countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV). To that end it uses the Narrowing Development Gaps Indicator (NDGI), recently designed by the OECD Development Centre and the ASEAN Secretariat to measure progress, or lack thereof, in closing development gaps between countries and over time. The NDGI encompasses six policy areas – infrastructure, human resource development, information and communication technology (ICT), trade and investment (regional economic integration), tourism and poverty. The first, introductory, section of this chapter offers an overview of the social and economic development gaps that ASEAN must narrow before it can achieve full integration. It describes how the NDGIs were built and how they are used. The second section looks at development gaps in each policy area, considers government action to date, and suggests new and additional measures that should be taken. The third section concludes.

    • Click to Access:  Integrating CLMV countries through trade and investment

      This chapter examines the experience of the so-called CLMV countries – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam – in opening up their once centrally planned economies to trade, foreign direct investment (FDI) and the global market. The result has been fast growth and macroeconomic stability for Viet Nam, Cambodia and Lao PDR. They even bounced back from the global crisis of 2008-09 because their export growth in apparel, tourism, agricultural products and hydropower is sound and their trade and investment linkages with their big regional neighbours have strengthened their economies. Today, however, they must explore the agenda for future, better growth and engage in a second generation of microeconomic reforms to support human and social development. Myanmar is at a different stage altogether – it is only now following up tentative political freedoms with economic liberalisation. The first section of this chapter sets the scene, tracing the history of CLV’s gradualist approach to economic transition over the past 20 years. The following two sections explore the trade-FDI nexus, i.e. the relationship between economic liberalisation and strong trade and FDI growth (which accounts for higher shares of gross domestic product (GDP) than in ASEAN-6) and also look at how CLV have eased into the global market, joining the World Trade Organization (WTO) and signing trade agreements. The next section considers major changes in the product composition and market distribution of CLMV’s exports and how their big neighbours have been engines of growth. The chapter then looks to the future arguing that CLV countries now need to usher in further reform by improving infrastructure and skilled labour through educational reform, and sharing the benefits of growth across society. The chapter concludes by arguing that CLV must address poverty and income disparities, while Myanmar still has its economic transition ahead of it.

    • Click to Access:  Poverty and inequality disparities in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam

      This chapter considers how and if economic reform in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV) has reduced poverty and income inequality. It opens with a brief introductory section that puts CLMV in a regional context and outlines the themes the chapter addresses. The section on the CLMV experience of poverty and inequality – country by country – examines each country in turn, sketching its history from independence, its experience of war, and its transition from a centrally planned people’s democracy to a market economy in the 1980s and 1990s. In this respect, Myanmar is an exception as it is only now ushering in its first tentative reforms. Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam, however, have effectively rebuilt and reaped the benefits. Their export-driven economic growth has been strong. Cambodia and Viet Nam have diversified their economies away from agriculture and both are currently fostering eco-tourism and new green industries. All three have reduced poverty – Viet Nam by half. Income disparities, however, persist between men and women, urban areas and rural regions, and ethnic groups. Inequality has actually widened in Lao PDR. CLMV have much to do to ensure development is inclusive and sustainable: further build infrastructure and institutional capacity, widen equitable access to education and employment, make the business environment investor-friendly, invest in human capital, nurture small and medium-sized enterprises, weed out corruption. The section on CLMV countries briefly compares the four countries and their performance in reducing poverty and inequality. Myanmar is a constant exception, principally because so little data are available. However, the final section "Conclusion", also applies to Myanmar: economic growth does not of itself deliver equally shared benefits for all.

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