Forecasting Southeast Asia's GDP per capita in 2028, who's the front-runner?

Forecasting Southeast Asia's GDP per capita in 2028, who's the front-runner?

Southeast Asia is currently the focus of significant global growth. The region holds great economic opportunities in the coming decades.

Successful development and economic progress have characterized Southeast Asia. By 2022, Southeast Asia's combined nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will reach about US$3.6 trillion, exceeding the size of the economies of the United Kingdom, France or Canada, and about twice that of Australia.

In 2020, the middle-class population in ASEAN reached about 200 million people, an increase of about 9% over the previous year. This increase also represents a positive outcome for the region's societies. An increase in the middle class can also be an indication of a country's GDP growth.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) refers to the total value of goods and services produced in a year in a country. It is considered a significant clue to the strength of the country's economy, and a positive change can be interpreted as a sign of economic growth.

Indeed, GDP in the ASEAN region has seen a significant increase in recent years, reflecting the rapid pace of economic growth in the region. The key sectors driving ASEAN's GDP growth involve manufacturing, trade, consumer markets, digital innovation, and sectors undergoing industrial transition.

Not only that, ASEAN is also one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world. Increased trade and investment, supported by trade agreements, have also provided a significant boost to the region's economic growth. In addition, the economic benefits of increased innovation and adoption of digital technologies, along with investments in transitioning sectors, have supported the rapid development of the digital economy in ASEAN, which in turn has supported the region's overall economic growth.


Singapore, the smallest country in ASEAN, is ranked first in the projection. Despite this, Singapore's human resources are highly qualified and are the most advanced among ASEAN countries. 

According to the World Bank website, Singapore's human resources (HR) are considered to be among the best in the world. This has a significant impact, both directly and indirectly, on the quality of individuals as well as the progress of Singapore's economic sector.

With major economic activities focused on industry and services, most Singaporeans are employed in the industrial sector, including manufacturing and engineering, and in services such as tourism and finance. According to the World Bank, the value of Singapore's trade in goods and services now amounts to approximately 185% of its gross domestic product (GDP). This reflects the importance of international trade in Singapore's economy.

Brunei Darussalam

In second place is Brunei Darussalam.  The oil and gas industry is the main driver of Brunei's economy, accounting for approximately 60% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and more than 90% of its export value. Despite the government's efforts to diversify the economy, Brunei still relies heavily on revenues from the oil and gas sector, which accounts for 90% of the country's total exports and about 62% of its GDP.


In third place is Malaysia, whose economic growth is driven by a combination of factors, including manufacturing and services, international trade, domestic demand, and tourism. Since gaining independence, Malaysia has successfully diversified its economy from its original agricultural sector to manufacturing and services. This success has led the country to become a leading exporter of electrical equipment, parts and components.

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