World / Asia-Pacific

Asia's emerging economies surge despite global slowdown

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-23 12:34

SINGAPORE - Emerging economies in Asia have surged ahead despite the impact of debt crisis in Europe, the slow world economic recovery, and the feared US "fiscal cliff".

These economies performed well in 2012 although their growths were slower than expected. A United Nations report released recently says that economic growth of Asia and the Pacific in 2012 is forecast to be 5.6 percent, down from an earlier forecast of 6. 5 percent.

For the upcoming 2013, economists are generally optimistic on the continued growth in the Asia Pacific with strong domestic demand expected to offset weak export growth.

Goldman Sachs recently released 2013 Asian Economic Outlook report, expressing optimism about the economic outlook for next year in the region excluding Japan.

It predicted that economic growth in Asia would average 6.9 percent in 2013 and to further expand to 7.3 percent from 2014 to 2016.


Singapore, for its part, which is more open to the outside world, was obviously the most affected by the weak global economy. The European Union (EU) is Singapore's second largest trading partner, second only to its neighboring Malaysia.

According to official data, the bilateral trade between Singapore and the European Union reached 106 billion Singapore dollars ($86.9 billion) in 2011, an increase of 7 percent. This year, Singapore's non-oil exports to the EU fell by 16.5 percent in the third quarter of this year.

Based on weak exports in the third quarter, the International Enterprise Singapore Board forecasts non-oil domestic exports growth would be reduced from 4-5 percent to 2-3 percent the whole year, and next year's non-oil domestic exports grew by 2 percent to 4 percent, the total trade would grow by 3-4 percent.

According to Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore's economic growth in the third quarter in 2012 remained in the doldrums. The first quarter GDP grew by 1.6 percent, the second quarter by 2.5 percent, the third quarter by only 0.3 percent.

In Indonesia, although the central bank has forecast a 6.2 percent growth for the fourth quarter, the full-year growth would be 6.3 percent, which is still within the country's growth forecast for 2012.

However, Indonesian exports reflect a slowdown in external demand. According to data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics, in October, Indonesia exported $15.67 billion and imports of $17.21 billion, a deficit of up to $1.55 billion, a record monthly trade deficit in Indonesia.

Wellian Wiranto, Asia Investment Strategist, Barclays, in an interview with Xinhua, said that in Indonesia, domestic demand was the main engine of economic growth this year and in the upcoming year.

After the devastating floods of 2011, Thailand exports have gradually recovered. According to official data, the total export value of Thailand in October year-on-year increased by 15.57 percent, mainly from the rebound in exports of agricultural and processed products of agricultural products and a variety of industrial products.

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