Podcast: Why are ASEAN CEOs so bullish about the business outlook?
Brunei Darussalam | Economy
Against a backdrop of China’s rebalancing towards consumption-driven growth and the looming threat of global trade war, executives who participated in the inaugural Business Barometer: OBG in ASEAN CEO survey were resolutely positive about the regional prospects for expansion and investment in the near future.
To digest and contextualise the results of the survey of over 550 C-suite executives in 6 out 10 ASEAN member states, OBG’s Regional Editor for Asia, Patrick Cooke, analysed some of the key findings in a podcast with Ivan Tan, Enterprise Singapore ’s Global Markets Director for Southeast Asia.
They discuss how concerted efforts to tackle the region’s vast infrastructure deficit are combining with favourable demographics and a burgeoning middle class to boost business confidence and create fertile ground for private sector investment.
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The pair also explores the external risks that threaten to derail the region’s momentum, looking at why survey respondents were fearful of a slowdown in Chinese demand and what new opportunities are emerging from China’s rebalancing towards a so-called “high quality” growth model. At the same time, they acknowledge that risk perceptions may have changed since the survey was conducted due to the imminent threat of a high-level trade war between the world’s two biggest economies, a scenario they both agree would be negative for ASEAN despite potentially creating some positive openings in certain sectors.
Regardless of the wide disparities in the business environments of ASEAN member states, as evidenced in the survey, Tan was confident the bloc was moving in the right direction in creating the rules-based architecture necessary for the formation and functioning of a cohesive single market, as envisioned in the ASEAN Economic Community 2025 blueprint .
Click here to see the results from other OBG CEO surveys conducted face-to-face with business leaders across the emerging world.