United Overseas Bank (a Singporean Bank) estimates that by 2025, China’s economy will be worth $28 trillion, just behind the US at $29 trillion but well ahead of the euro zone at $20 trillion. The bank projections show that even by growing annually at just about two-thirds of the pace that it was used to between 2001 and 2013, the size of the 10-member Asean economy could exceed $4 trillion by 2020, which is roughly the size of Germany last year and would be nearly four times larger by 2030 at $9 trillion, equal to China’s economy in 2013.
ASEAN is a larger economy than India now and should stay larger than India into the 2020s. ASEAN should pass the size of Japan’s economy in the 2020s. ASEAN could catch up to the size of the EU economy by 2050.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has estimated that by 2030, 500 million people in Southeast Asia will be classified as middle-income, representing nearly 65% of the population, compared with 29% in 2010.
The projections for Southeast Asia are achievable, going by recent developments in the region including the opening up of Myanmar, the presidential election in Indonesia and the return of stability in Thailand after the recent military coup,” UOB said. “In addition, less-developed members such as Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam have plenty of room for growth and to catch up given their low starting base.
A major stimulus in the early stages, as well as a force to sustain growth in subsequent stages, will be the need for infrastructure. According to the ADB, Asia needs more than $8 trillion in infrastructure investments in Asia between 2010 and 2020, including $800 billion in Southeast Asia.
“The lag in infrastructure investment and the opening up of economies such as Myanmar have presented opportunities within Southeast Asia,” said UOB, adding that Asean had surpassed China in terms of FDI inflows after falling behind for more than a decade.
“Even with a conservative assumption of about 8% annual growth, the stock of [FDI] in the region is expected to nearly double to $2.7 trillion in 2020 and $6 trillion by 2030, from $1.6 trillion in 2013.”
The Economist forecasts for 2015
GDP 2015 Pop 2015 GDP per cap PPP per cap GDP growth 2015
EU 18,160 billion 510 million 35,620
China 11,628 billion 1,360 million 8,550 7.0%
India 2,515 billion 1,270 million 1,980 6.5%
ASEAN 2,756 billion 640 million 4,370
Indonesia 990 billion 256 million 3,870 10,780 5.9%
Thailand 422 billion 67 million 6,260 11,060 4.5%
Malaysia 371 billion 31 million 12,090 26,310 5.4%
Singapore 336 billion 6 million 58,910 83,340 3.8%
Philippines 332 billion 102 million 3,260 7,410 6.3%
Vietnam 204 billion 91 million 2,230 6,090 6.6%
Myanmar 52 billion 54 million 970
Cambodia 20 billion 16 million 1,260
Brunei 16 billion .4 million 37,340
Laos 14 billion 7 million 1,950