Emerging Asia poised for continued strong growth, while contributing to global expansion of e-commerce


Paris, 13 July 2018 - Economic growth in Emerging Asia, the ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China and India, is expected to remain stable in the near term. Average real gross domestic product (GDP) in the region is expected to grow by 6.6% in 2018 and 6.5% in 2019, because of generally robust consumption and investment according to projections in the OECD Development Centre’s Update to the Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2018. The ten ASEAN economies are expected to see average growth of 5.3% in both 2018 and 2019, with the highest rates in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar (the CLM countries), Viet Nam and the Philippines.

Overall, the external positions of Emerging Asian economies remain stable; current account balances have improved in a number of economies in the region and foreign direct investment data flows are strong. Policy rates in the region have been increased, mainly in response to increases in inflationary pressure and weakness in some local currencies, though monetary authorities have also used reserve requirements to maintain liquidity. Overall, the fiscal positions of Emerging Asian economies are relatively sound. The fiscal policy direction, however, is mixed.

According to the Update, risks include the effects of rising interest rates in advanced economies, uncertainty about the implementation of planned infrastructure projects and the consequences of rising protectionist sentiments internationally on regional integration.

“Emerging Asia stands to show continued strong growth in the near term if domestic and external risks are properly managed,” said Mario Pezzini, Director of the OECD Development Centre and Special Advisor to the OECD Secretary-General on Development, while launching the Update at the OECD headquarters in Paris.

A special chapter of the Update addresses the challenges and opportunities facing Emerging Asia in developing cross-border e-commerce. The region is already a major player in e-commerce, and should continue to contribute to the sector’s global growth in the future. The use of information and communications technology (ICT), ICT infrastructure, transportation and logistics, payment systems, and legal and regulatory frameworks will all affect such future growth. To benefit from fair and efficient cross-border e-commerce, governments in the region will need to improve connectivity, develop skills and human capital, implement new policies to address digital security and consumer protection, and foster regional and international co-operation


SAEO 2018 Update Table 1

  Note: The cut-off date for data used is 18 June 2018. ASEAN and Emerging Asia growth rates are the weighted averages of the individual economies subsumed. Data of India and Myanmar follow fiscal years. For Myanmar 2018 refers to the interim 6-month period from April 2018 to September 2018 while 2019 refers to fiscal year starting October 2018 to September 2019. The projections of China, India and Indonesia are based on the OECD Economic Outlook 103 database. Source: OECD Development Centre, MPF 2018.  

For more information, journalists are invited to contact Kensuke Tanaka, Head of the Asia Desk, OECD Development Centre (; Tel: +33 (0)6 27 19 05 19) and Bochra Kriout (; Tel: +33 1 45 24 82 96) at the Press Office.

For further information on the Update and the Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2018, visit:

About the Update

The Update to the Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia, China and India 2018 is produced by the OECD Development Centre in collaboration with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

The Update is released following the main report of the Outlook to ensure that its data, projections and policy discussions remain up-to-date and relevant. The Update and the Outlook contribute to the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme, which fosters mutual learning and the exchange of good practices between policy makers in Southeast Asia and in OECD member countries.


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