ASEAN+3 economy forecast to grow 4.6% this year

The gross domestic product growth of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plus China, Japan and the Republic of Korea (ASEAN 3) is likely to reach 4.6% this year and 4.5% next year, according to the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO)’s latest report.

The growth for ASEAN is forecast at 4.9% and 5.2%, respectively.

The ASEAN+3 region is expected to remain resilient notwithstanding the strong headwinds of weaker external demand and tighter global financial conditions, AMRO Chief Economist Hoe Ee Khor said at a press conference on April 6.

Tourism and intra-regional trade will be boosted by the recovery of China’s economy, helping mitigate softer external demand from the US and Europe, he said.

Domestic demand is expected to remain robust, with household spending to be sustained by rising income and lower inflation, according to AMRO. The organisation anticipated inflation to moderate from 6.5% last year to 4.7% in 2023, before normalising to 3.0% next year.

The region’s growth prospects could be dampened by a spike in energy prices caused by an escalation of the Ukraine crisis, or weaker-than-expected recovery in China, or a sharp slowdown in the US. The US’s continued monetary policy tightening amid mounting financial stability concerns could also heighten financial market volatility and spark contagion fears.

Drawing from the lessons learned from the Asian financial crisis, ASEAN+3 financial systems are now more resilient and well-regulated. However, he said, policymakers need to remain vigilant and continue to rebuild policy buffers and remain flexible if necessary.

In an interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s resident correspondents, Khor said that he is very optimistic about Vietnam’s economic prospects.

Vietnam is one of the countries with excellent achievements in the region, which has achieved a very high growth rate and is attracting a lot of foreign direct investment. However, the growth in the first quarter of 2023 was lower than expected, so the Vietnamese economy was forecast to expand by 6% this year.

AMRO expected Vietnam’s GDP growth to reach 6.5%-7% in the second half of this year, he added.

Source: Lao News Agency

Diplomats discuss Chinese-style modernization, China-proposed initiatives

On April 6, Institute of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with Chinese Embassy to Laos and CMG Laos held in Vientiane a seminar under the theme “Chinese-style Modernisation and Laos-China Community of a Shared Future” in Vientiane.

Co-chaired by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Thongphane Savanphet and Chinese Ambassador to Laos Jiang Zaidong, the seminar was attended by Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Phosy Keomanivong, Head of the Institute of Foreign Affairs Mai Xayavong, veteran diplomats, experts and relevant officials from Laos and China.

The seminar allowed the participants to exchange points of view on Chinese style modernization, Belt and Road Initiative and Laos-China Community of a Shared Future.

“The year 2023 marks the 10th anniversary of the China-proposed “Belt and Road Initiative” which has contributed significantly to promoting the socio-economic development, employment, and poverty reduction in participating countries,” said Deputy Minister Thongphane Savanphet.

As for the Lao PDR, the Laos-China railway, a strategic project under the Belt and Road Initiative, has become a meaningful symbol and a good model of the implementation of the “Belt and Road Initiative”, turning the landlocked Lao PDR into a land-linked country, creating favourable conditions for foreign investment in the Lao PDR, contributing to employment and revenue collection in tourism and transport industries.

He also noted that it is the responsibility of all countries in the world to coordinate, discuss and work together to prevent and tackle disasters that are likely to post impacts on environment and people’s livelihoods.

Chinese ambassador Jiang Zai Dong highlighted the importance of initiatives proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“Global Civilisation” Initiative has contributed significantly to promoting peace, development, security, civilization and advancement of humanity in the world,” said Jiang Zaidong.

Source: Lao News Agency