The newly release Global Trade Growth Atlas 2022 has put the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the spotlight because the region is forecast to lead the world in export growth over the next five years.
The report, by DHL Express, shows that, when assessed by the level of economic development, emerging economies are expected to generate 45% of the absolute amount of global trade growth between 2021 and 2026.
“The good news, especially for Asia, ASEAN, and Thailand, is that Southeast Asia and South Asia perform very well. They perform very well in both speed and scale. Scale is the size of the economy and the amount of trade. Speed is the extent and speed by which they are growing, and I can tell you that the Philippines, Malaysia, India, Vietnam, and I can also add to that list, Thailand, are growing impressively on a large scale,” John Pearson, CEO of DHL Express, told Thai PBS World.
Pearson said he looked at Thailand as a pretty much developed economy, though it was categorized as an emerging market in their study. “If you look back at the global connectedness index, which measured the movement of trade, capital, people and digital services, Thailand also performed well”.
Force against inflation and supply disruptions
In contrast to the economic forecasts worldwide, trade growth is expected to become a driving force against inflation and supply disruptions.
The report said that, with inflation at multi-decade highs and economies slowing down, trade’s power will accelerate growth, lower prices and diversify sources of key inputs. It is even more crucial for companies and countries than it was before the present wave of crises.
Pearson said that this study is a reaffirmation and confirmation that trade is alive and well and very resilient.
The Global Trade Growth Atlas 2022 shows that, when it comes to trade, the volume has increased, speed has increased and trade footprints are broader. Furthermore, it is expected to grow even faster in the next two years than pre-pandemic.
The data also shows that emerging economies are continuing to do very well and it definitely is no longer just about the quantity. It has become a quality story, with more and more sophisticated goods.
Salvation and the solution
“I think trade, in a way, is a little bit of salvation and the solution,” said Pearson, adding that trade lowers inflation. It allows people to buy, sell and drive growth.
When talking about the outstanding performance in this report, Pearson made the point that he does not usually pick a winner or say who is doing better or worse. He said this report is purely from a factual point of view. Vietnam, however, was one of the winners. All these countries are on different export and growth curves and Vietnam performs very strongly.
Story of focus
Pearson said, however, that the element that puts any country at the top or bottom, so to speak, is focus, and different levels of trade at different periods of time have different focuses on trade, how high it is on the list of focuses for the country.
He sees that emerging economies are becoming more creative, more innovative and more digitally connected. “I think advanced companies and advanced economies now need to recognize that they’re competing with companies that are innovative, are connected and are digitally very savvy”.
Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service