Southeast Asia attracts more foreign direct investment than China for second year

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Southeast Asia’s major economies drew more foreign direct investment combined than China for the second straight year in 2014, as growth in their giant neighbour cooled.

But by country, inflows into the region were uneven, swayed by political change and the varying costs of doing business.

Overall FDI into Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam rose to a record $128 billion in 2014, estimates compiled by Thomson Reuters show. That surpassed the $119.56 billion that flowed into China. FDI into the Philippines grew the fastest, at 66 percent, while in Thailand, where the military seized power last year, inflows fell. FDI into Indonesia, the region’s biggest economy, rose around 10 percent even though it was an election year.

As China’s troubled manufacturing sector loses momentum, Chinese businesses will be venturing abroad to cut operating costs and to search for new markets, economists say. Manufacturing powerhouses in Southeast Asia should pay heed.

“Rising wages in China are leading low-end manufacturers to look for other low-cost locations for their factories, with countries like Vietnam and the Philippines looking like attractive alternatives,” said Dan Martin, Asia Economist at Capital Economics. “ASEAN is also a large market in its own right, and one with good long-term growth prospects. Given the general slowdown in other emerging market regions in recent years, it is starting to stand out.”

The Philippines, the second-fastest growing major economy in Asia, attracts investors with its strong economic fundamentals. But one concern is the continuity of economic policies following the 2016 general elections. That means some investment decisions might be postponed.

Slumping commodity prices could pinch on FDI inflows into resource-rich Indonesia and, to a lesser extent, Malaysia. Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who took office in October, is seeking more foreign investment in manufacturing to counter the volatile resources sector. But Indonesia has many improvements to make, particularly in its business infrastructure, to successfully challenge the region’s manufacturing leader – Thailand.

 

 

Source : Thanh Nien Daily | March 16, 2015

Thomas D’Innocenzi

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About thomasdinnocenzi

Thomas D’Innocenzi is a highly accomplished, results-focused international consultant with extensive experience in global sourcing and business development worldwide to meet evolving business needs. Tom has proven ability in implementing and managing profitable global marketing and sourcing operations. He has extensive experience in international business development to accommodate rapid growth. Skilled in building top-performing teams, bench-marking performance, and developing organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, and profitability. Experienced transition leader and change agent. Tom founded Nova Advisors with the mission of providing expert Global Business Development consulting services for companies seeking to expand their market share as an independent consultant. Tom has a network of experts and advisors throughout the Asia-Pacific region and North America. His expertise includes business development, global sourcing, manufacturing, commodities, logistics, QA/QC, FDA, regulatory compliance, sustainability, and supply chain optimization. Tom is experienced in the medical device, apparel, consumer goods and technology services verticals helping companies advance their global sourcing capabilities and develop new markets through a local and sustained approach. Located in SE Asia and the United States, Tom expands market reach to drive sales. His global sourcing strategy includes directly negotiating with commodity suppliers, supply chain networks and distributors for optimal terms based on his expertise and first-hand knowledge of the players. Contact Tom to use his consulting service to increase your global market and make global sourcing profitable for you in the Asia Pacific Region and the United States. http://www.NovaAdvisors.com thomas@NovaAdvisors.com USA Direct: +1.904.479.3600 SINGAPORE: +65.6818.6396 THAILAND: +662.207.9269
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