Vietnam

After years of strong economic growth and surging foreign direct investment, Vietnam today is emerging as a key middle-income country in the South-east Asian political and economic sphere. A nation of ancient traditions with a youthful and energetic population, Vietnam is also moving through a period of additional economic reforms, while continuing to leverage its strategic location and strong international relations to further boost its rapidly growing overseas trade activity.

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After 18 months of travel restrictions, a number of countries in South-east Asia have begun opening their borders to foreign visitors to stoke recovery in their respective tourism industries.

The coronavirus pandemic gave rise to a massive acceleration in the spread of digital payments and cryptocurrency. This in turn has prompted central banks around the world to trial central bank digital currencies, a digital form of hard currency that is based on blockchain, but backed and issued by a central bank.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria are increasingly shaping the global corporate agenda.

Many emerging markets are turning towards infrastructure development to stimulate the economic recovery from the coranvirus pandemic, with a particular focus on green and sustainable developments. 

– 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

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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