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Fitch Group research house upbeat on ASEAN's economic prospects

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-11-24 16:05

KUALA LUMPUR - Southeast Asian countries' economic prospects look bright over the coming years, supported by greater regional integration, better transport connectivity, and continued reform momentum, a report from Fitch Group said Friday.

Citing the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and China's Belt and Road Initiative as two key factors aside from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)'s Economic Community (AEC), Fitch Group unit BMI Research said such elements will bring the region closer together and fuel growth in the coming years.

Among the countries, the research house expected Myanmar and Vietnam to be the growth out-performers, while Singapore and Brunei which already have much higher gross domestic product (GDP) per capita are likely to see much slower rates of expansion.

Myanmar is expected to grow 7.2 percent average per annum over the next 10 years due to an increase in investment, aided by improvements to the business environment and greater political stability, the report said.

As for Vietnam, the growth will be supported by a stable political environment, growing reform momentum, an improving business environment, and with the manufacturing sector benefiting from multinationals relocating in Vietnam for lower production costs.

The research house continued to see the Philippines as one of the regional bright spots, with GDP growth likely to average a solid 6.2 percent over the coming decade.

"But the risks are weighted to the downside as the business environment has been weakening slightly," it added.

BMI also remains positive on Indonesia's growth prospects, due to its huge young population, and the country will be one of the largest recipients of projects under the Belt and Road Initiative in ASEAN, the report said.

"We continue to expect the economy to benefit from further improvements to the business environment," it said.

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