Market analysts predict that some developing countries in the Asian region might experience a slight drop in their economic growth owing largely in part to the slowing down of the economy of China. While the economic forecast by the Asian Development Bank, one of the largest government lender in the region, may be true, this does not seemingly apply to all Asian countries as stellar growth in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and many other countries is seen to fuel an amazing economic boom in that part of the globe. Because of the surging economic growth of these countries, the economy of South Asia in its entirety is expected to rise at more than 7%. So what do these countries have that others don’t?
The Roaring Economy of Malaysia
Being the third largest economy in the South Asian region, and among the top 40 economies in the world, the country is helping a lot in fueling the amazing economic boom in the region. With the huge concentration of its economy focused on knowledge-based industries, it comes as no surprise if the country is acknowledged as one of the leaders in cutting-edge technology in the field of manufacturing and digital industry. Added to this, its low national income tax, plus the low cost of its household essentials like food and other related items, as well as its transport fuel, help its citizens lead an affluent lifestyle, which further help in boosting their economy. This is why Malaysia is seen by market analysts as among those leading the pack in driving upwards the economic growth of South Asia.
The Resilient Bangladesh Garments Industry
Unbeknownst to some sectors, the small country of Bangladesh is recognized as the garment industry leader in South Asia. In the latest data as of 2017, its ready-made garments (RMG) exports reached $28 out of the more than $32 billion of the country’s total exports. While global competition remains high, and the present political instability in Bangladesh persist which is exacerbated by its factory safety issues among other limitations and struggles, the country’s RMG industry continues to expand and grow. With the upward movement of the Chinese in the value chain, value apparel manufacturing is left to cost effective industry players like Bangladesh. This perhaps explains why the country’s RMG export is among the highest in the region. This does not stop the country though from also making efforts to also move up the value chain. At present, Bangladeshi companies are exploring the idea of producing more capital intensive items like complicated garments and footwear. It is not surprising therefore if Bangladesh is considered one of the rising stars in South Asia and is helping fuel the region’s economic boom.
Bhutan – The Hydropower Industry Leader
In the case of the proud Kingdom of Bhutan, clean energy is the name of the game. Recognized as a global leader in hydropower reserve, the growth forecast for the country at more than 9% is nothing short of remarkable. The country’s program in building more hydropower plants and selling it to powerhouse India is the main reason why the economy of Bhutan is flourishing. According to the Asian Development Outlook report, the Kingdom of Bhutan is the fastest growing economy this part of the region. With only five percent of its estimated 30,000 megawatts hydropower reserves developed for commercial purposes, the Kingdom is on its way to becoming an economic powerhouse. The best thing about this industry is that aside from earning much from electricity sales to neighboring countries, the Kingdom also helps counter the negative impact of climate change by setting its focus on clean energy.
Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand are also among those that help fuel the economic boom in the Southern Asian region. While it may be true that China is the largest economy in that area and the slowing down of its economy can impact the growth in South Asia, there are still other countries that are ready to step up and take its place. India is one of those countries. In the case of Bangladesh and Malaysia, their exports to the European market are more than enough to sustain them even with lesser trade deals with China. With the seemingly resilient economies of these countries, it is not hard to see why South Asia is now experiencing a stellar growth in its economy.