ASEAN is a centre of global economic activity and key driver of world growth. If the region were to be viewed as a single economic entity, ASEAN would be the world’s sixth largest economy, and by some projections rapidly heading to being the fifth largest2 and potentially the fourth largest.
ASEAN’s growth rates have been remarkable and look set to remain so. Across the ten Member States, the average GDP growth rate has been above 5% in recent years and is predicted to remain at such levels for the next five years3.
However, FDI to ASEAN has fallen for the last two years since its peak in 2014. In 2016 FDI flows to the region fell by 20%, despite a record 46% increase from the EU. ASEAN trade with the world has also fallen, despite World trade increasing, albeit only modestly. Intra-ASEAN trade has also fallen as a percentage of overall trade and in absolute terms.
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