ASEANs 50th anniversary signals new era for development and investment growth, HSBC says

Stocks and Financial Services Press Releases Thursday August 10, 2017 18:14
Bangkok--10 Aug--HSBC

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) marks its 50th anniversary with its biggest economies pledging to double infrastructure investments to more than US$700 billion in a five-year span that could enhance trade, tourism and development to drive sustainable economic growth for decades to come.

"ASEAN's 50th Anniversary is a potential starting point for a new era of development and investment growth," said Stuart Tait, HSBC's Regional Head of Commercial Banking, Asia Pacific.

Transport initiatives are a key focus for budgeted government spending out to 2020, putting a clear focus on the infrastructure investment that is a crucial determinant of competitiveness according to the annual World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report.

"The emphasis on creating better-connected economies to help facilitate trade and investment is extremely important," Tait said. "It will help ASEAN maximise opportunities within the region as well as those stemming from China's Belt & Road Initiative, which is key to stated ambitions to double bilateral trade between China and ASEAN to US$1 trillion by 2020."

"Thailand is the second largest infrastructure market in ASEAN with US$120 billion of spending planned from 2016-20, including 56 mega projects worth US$70 billion," said Kelvin Tan, Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Thailand. "With a variety of government initiatives aimed to boost long-term competitiveness and drive sustainable growth, Thailand is now at the forefront of the transport push. Development of the country's railway networks will be a crucial project to make Thailand a regional hub in ASEAN by connecting double track railways with neighbouring countries."

ASEAN groups together 10 economies – Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – which have a combined population of around 625 million people and an aggregate nominal GDP of around US$2.8 trillion.

As a single entity, ASEAN currently ranks as one of the world's seven biggest economies and is on track to become third largest by 2030.

HSBC has more than 200 branches across the six largest markets in ASEAN, is the partner of choice for more than 10,000 corporate clients – including 4,500 subsidiaries of multinational corporations – more than 20,000 small and medium-sized enterprises, and some 2.5 million retail customers.

HSBC's international banking network provides access to more than 90% of global GDP, trade and capital flows. The network covers the world's largest and fastest-growing trade corridors and economic zones and will be able to support clients to capture opportunities in the region.

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