ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations and was established in 1967. In the beginning, there were only five member ASEAN countries, namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Thailand.
Later, Brunei Darussalam (1984), Vietnam (1995), Laos (1997), Myanmar (1997), and Cambodia (1999) joined the organization.
The aim of ASEAN is to encourage economic growth, sociocultural evolution, and social progress among member states. Further, it also meant lower import duties, regional stability and protection, and a mechanism to handle differences in a peaceful manner.
These member nations in Southeast Asia make up more than 600 million people (9% of the global population). Further, the combined per capita income in the region has been on a continuous rise over the past few years.
When it comes to GDP, Singapore has the highest at more than US$50,000 and Brunei is in second place at US$39,000. As a result, it has an active consumer market which exceeds that of India and South Korea. However, it is quite similar to consumer markets in Russia and Brazil.
It’s a major market for mobile phone manufacturers at present, but it’s not going to stop there. The middle class in the ASEAN region a growing rapidly and that has increased demand for various products.
Further, poverty rates are continuing to decline and this makes it an early achiever in the Asia-Pacific bloc. But what has investors excited is the fact that people are educated and highly skilled and this makes it competitive labor market.
One positive trend in recent years is that multinational companies like what they see in the region. Some of the top desirable economies to invest in include Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand. The global perception of member states also keeps improving, so you can expect a lot of economic investment and growth in the near future.
These emerging economies can be said to be economies of the future. In fact, it’s predicted that Indonesia and Philippines will make up the 17th and 16th largest economies on the planet by 2050. These predictions were made with taking current variables such as income per capita, education, law, and demographic change into consideration.
Further, experts predict that Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand will be economic heavyweights by the end of this period and will dominate the globe.
So as far as investors are concerned, this is a great region to invest and grow your wealth along with the ASEAN countries that rising quickly.