Here is Why Southeast Asian Countries are Among the Top 10 Fastest-Growing Economies

Here is Why Southeast Asian Countries are Among the Top 10 Fastest-Growing Economies
World Finance

In the midst of sluggish global trade and policy uncertainties, developing countries stood out as the world's economic powerhouses. They contribute more than 75% of global growth in output and consumption, according to Nasdaq.

In World Bank's Global Economic Prospects report released in June, Ethiopia is recorded as the fastest-growing economy in 2017 with 8.3% growth rate, thanks to the high government spending on infrastructure. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is often considered the jewel of the country's recent growth.

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Image: Nazret
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Image: Nazret

This is a whopping number, higher than the estimated global growth at 2.7% with a recovery in commodity prices, improved market confidence, and increased trade and manufacturing. Trade increased by 4% in 2017, with only by 2.4% in 2016, according to the report.

Meanwhile, with projected growth of 7.6%, Uzbekistan has the second-fastest-growing economy. Rising oil prices, robust growth in Europe, and generally supporting policies contribute to this number. 

Nepal is next, with a 7.5 projection. World Bank reports that Nepal has rebounded strongly following good monsoon, the reconstruction effort after 2015 earthquake and trade normalisation with India. 

Image: World Bank
Image: World Bank


India also enjoys 7.2% projected growth, currently the fourth-fastest-growing-economies, partly thanks to the rise of export, an increase in government spending, supported by policy reforms. 

Among the other top 10 fastest-growing-economies are Djibouti and Laos with 7% and Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Myanmar with 6.9%.

Laos, the only landlocked country in Southeast Asia of about 7 million people is improving with deeper integration with regional economy and investment in power network to provide better electricity to the nation. 

Meanwhile Cambodia is benefited from increasing export in garment, as the factories have shifted from Vietnam. The value of garment exports reached $6 billion in 2015, worth 70% of all exports, and employed 700,000 people, according to Research and Markets

Image: World Bank
Image: World Bank


Myanmar just opened the country for foreign investment in 2012 and it will even further lured foreign investors. According for Forbes, A lot of foreign-funded projects cover energy, garment production and food and beverages.

In the Philippines, infrastructure spending combined with remittance from overseas, consumer spending,  call centers, and tourism will expand an economy worth $311 billion last year. 

Overall, emerging markets and developing economies are the key contributors of global growth. While Europe has experienced strong growth, United States is estimated to still recover with moderate pace until 2018.


Indah Gilang Pusparani

Indah is a researcher at Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Daerah Kota Cirebon (Regional Development Planning and Research Agency of Cirebon Municipality). She covers More international relations, tourism, and startups in Southeast Asia region and beyond. Indah graduated from MSc Development Administration and Planning from University College London, United Kingdom in 2015. She finished bachelor degree from International Relations from University of Indonesia in 2014, with two exchange programs in Political Science at National University of Singapore and New Media in Journalism at Ball State University, USA. She was awarded Diplomacy Award at Harvard World Model United Nations and named as Indonesian Gifted Researcher by Australian National University. She is Researcher at Regional Planning Board in Cirebon, West Java. She previously worked as Editor in Bening Communication, the Commonwealth Parliament Association UK, and diplomacy consulting firm Best Delegate LLC in USA. Less
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