Friday, 28 February 2014

Asean Economic Outlook Remains Robust In Medium Term, Say Asean Ministers

SINGAPORE, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- Asean's economic growth in the past two years has been quite resilient due to the strong domestic demand and investment.

In a joint statement at the end of the 20th Asean Economic Ministers' Retreat here Thursday, the ministers said in the medium term, the grouping's economic outlook remained robust, anchored by rising domestic demand, particularly private consumption and infrastructure investment.

Ministers from Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, as well as Asean Secretary, Le Luong Minh, attended the retreat.

Dr Kan Zaw, Myanmar's Union Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, chaired the retreat.

Malaysia was represented by Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed.

The statement said with world trade expected to gain momentum in 2014-2015, Asean exports were also expected to contribute more to the region's growth.

"The prospects for the flow of foreign direct investments (FDIs) to Asean remain promising as more FDIs are expected in a wide range of sectors such as infrastructure, finance and manufacturing," it said.

However, it cautioned that there were some downside risks, including capital outflows, sharp currency depreciation, emerging inflationary pressures and tightening financial conditions, which could dampen economic growth.

The statement said maintaining Asean's resilient macroeconomic fundamentals was key to managing these risks.

"Deeper economic integration will also further enhance investment and trade, and support growth in the region," it said.

source: Bernama
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