TAKING advantage of lower labour costs, favourable demographics and a growing consumer base, South-East Asia is next up in the flying geese formation of Asian economies.
But significant investment will be needed for the region to achieve its potential and diversifying sources of foreign capital will be a key objective.
It has been nearly a decade since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and yet the world economy does not appear to have fully shaken off the lethargy that followed it. Despite the advanced countries showing some signs of improvement, US GDP growth has yet to break through the 2.5% range, and the eurozone is only now beginning to show signs of life.
Meanwhile, debt accumulation in China has necessitated a growth moderation there that further dampens global demand growth.
Besides a spurt in 2010-2011, real growth of global trade in goods and services has fallen to an average of 3.3% since 2012, compared to 8.4% in the five years preceding the GFC.
The South-East Asian economies have not been insulated from the impacts of these developments.