Southeast Asia is a lucrative investment spot. In recent years, the region received global recognition as one of the fastest-growing economies. During a panel discussion at the Asian Financial Forum 2019 attended by over 3,300 financial executives, policymakers, and business leaders, it was agreed that Southeast Asia is a top investment destination for 2019. What are the top investment spots in Southeast Asia for 2019?
Investment Spots in Southeast Asia
1. The Philippines
Whilst the country has a poor international image, its economy is among the fastest-growing in Asia. The middle class, unnoticed years ago, are emerging as the country’s most prominent. Since 1998, the country has not experienced any negative GDP. Foreign investors can benefit from the country’s large English speaking workforce along with strong demographics trends. Google, Microsoft, and other tech firms have set up offices in the country where it is less expensive to maintain investments. It is highly likely that investments in real estate and stocks would appreciate over time. For foreigners, condo units and equity investments are best forms of investments.
Singapore remains one of the wealthiest countries in Asia. The country benefits from its location to the Strait of Malacca, a major shipping land with as much as 25% of oil passing through from the Middle East and Asia.
This great location along with good financial institutions, stable currency, low taxes, skilled workforce, and strong governance makes Singapore a safe and profitable investment destination. When it comes to real estate, Singapore is among Asia’s most expensive areas where condo units can sell more than US$15,000 per square metre. Still, these properties are still competitively priced compared with Hong Kong where a million dollars can only buy a 20 square metre space.
Cambodia edges out other Southeast Asian nations when it comes to foreign property ownership. Some countries pose some issues for foreign buyers. In Cambodia, foreigners do not have limitations when owning a property. They can own 100% of the property they buy and they can even get a long-term visa with ease. Cambodia is one of the rapidly developing countries in Southeast Asia outgrowing the 2008 recession. Its GDP growth is more than 7% yearly, thanks to the boom in foreign property ownership.
Phnom Penh has a total population of approximately 2.5 million. It will double come 2040, driving a real demand for housing. This can push real estate prices up, particularly since the country has a limited number of centrally-located land.
Uncertainties in China are forcing businesses to turn to a more stable and equally affordable market – Vietnam. The country is experiencing massive growth thanks to multinational firms like Samsung and Nike who transferred their manufacturing hubs in the region. Vietnam is a great location for these businesses because of its proximity to China, allowing easier facilitation of goods.
Similarly, the country posted a GDP growth of 7% which makes it a good place to invest.
Like Singapore, Malaysia straddles along the Strait of Malacca but it is considered by some investors as a better investment option because of its cost-effectiveness. It is way cheaper to live and do business in the country. Some foreign investors consider investing in Malaysia because they can obtain a second residency as a bonus. Malaysia’s move towards urbanisation means there will be a great demand for centrally-located condominiums. Foreign buyers can benefit greatly from the country’s low real estate values, with some condominiums selling only for US$4,000 per square metre.