Thailand

In its April 2018 Economic Monitor for Thailand, the World Bank reported that GDP growth accelerated to 3.9% in 2017, from 0.91% in 2014, 2.94% in 2015 and 3.23% in 2016. This was the fastest expansion since the 7.24% recorded in 2012, and was driven by strong global growth, increased export revenue and a modest recovery in private consumption.

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Prior to the outbreak of coronavirus, medical tourism was a significant growth industry in many emerging economies. While the pandemic represented a major setback for the segment, there are signs that it may be recovering in several markets.

After a year of external expansion and internal reorganisation due to Covid-19, South-east Asia’s super apps appear to be looking towards mergers and public listings as a strategy for future development.

– Thailand and Malaysia led the region in terms of government stimulus

– Key digital solutions were developed in food delivery, education, health care and finance

– Despite falling globally, M&A increased in Asia throughout the year

– Emerging markets in ASEAN stand to benefit from the supply chain shift away from China

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was finally signed on Sunday November 15, on the sidelines of the annual summit of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN). As well as marking a significant regional milestone, it is hoped that this deal will help its 15 signatories recover from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic and its related economic effects prompted a slowdown in initial public offerings (IPOs) in South-east Asia, as it did globally. However, there are indications that the region is set to see listing activity bounce back in the coming months.

After enjoying years of exponential growth, South-east Asia’s super apps have been forced to reassess their business models as a result of Covid-19, with many refocusing their priorities as they plan for the post-pandemic world.

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