ASEAN:Opportunities and challenges
The past decades, the ASEAN has grown to be an important economic player. The region offers many opportunities for entrepreneurs. The prospects look promising:
- According to the World Bank, ASEAN-5 has a combined GNP of over 3.17 billion USD (2019). This makes it the 5th economic power in the world.
- OECD expects a growth of 6% in 2021, after a decrease of 2.8% in 2020 (slightly positive in comparison to the worldwide economic contraction).
- The IMF predicts a growth of government spending and investments the coming years, as a compensation for the economic impact of COVID-19.
- By establishing the ASEAN Economic Cooperation (AEC), the region strives to create one common market (like the European Union) with the freedom of movement for persons, goods, services and capital.
Focus on ASEAN-5
The Netherlands focuses on the following 5 countries from the ASEAN that have the biggest trading potential: Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
With a market of almost half a billion inhabitants combined, the ASEAN-5 is, after China and India, the biggest consumer market of the world. Dutch investments in this market are growing rapidly and exports are worth almost € 10 billion per year.
Despite – or maybe because of – the Corona crisis, there are a lot of new opportunities, specifically in Agri-food production and Agri-food technology, water management and water technology, and waste management and circular design. Because of the Corona crisis and the spectacular population growth, there are a lot of opportunities in health care. In this new era, governments are investing more in digitisation and food quality. Companies in the region can do a lot, but also look for the expertise and capacities of the Netherlands. Collaborating on innovation is of the utmost importance.
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