China's economic growth means opportunities for SE Asia: official

Updated: 2006-10-13 10:33

China's economic development creates new opportunities and challenges for a resurgence of growth in Southeast Asia, a Singapore official said here Thursday.

Tony Tan, chairman for the National Research Foundation of Singapore, made the remarks while addressing a business forum themed the "Resurgence of South East Asia."

"After nearly a decade of slower growth following the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, Southeast Asian economies are now on a firmer footing to take on the challenges and to explore the opportunities arising from the meteoric ascent of China and India, " he said.

He noted that China will continue to grow rapidly and dominate the dynamics of Asian economic development as long as the current growth-supporting policy setting is maintained.

China has strong comparative advantage in labor-intensive manufacturing industries, but the driving force of long term sustainable economic growth must come from higher value added activities and productivity growth, he said, adding that China's commitment to the World Trade Organization (WTO) to liberalize previously protected industries will help open up even more opportunities for trade and investment with Southeast Asia and other countries.

He stressed that they see Chinese growth increasingly becoming more of a trade-creating win-win, and less of a trade-displacing zero-sum game to Southeast Asia.

Therefore, this will increasingly present more opportunities for Southeast Asian economies to specialize in niche segments in the global, and Chinese export markets, according to comparative advantage, he added.

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