Perdana Leadership Foundation CEO Forum 2013

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”Asia’s Sputtering Growth Engine”

By Andrew Colquhoun, The Wall Street Journal (Business)

We were somewhere over the Venezuelan jungle when the cabin of our aircraft started filling with smoke. It was a six-seater plane with one engine at the front and another at the back, and the front engine had just blown up. The pilot started looking for somewhere to land. As we circled, the rear engine began to cough.

That Venezuelan plane sometimes comes to mind when I think about Emerging Asia’s growth prospects.

For most of the 2000s, we had a strong front engine pulling us along – domestic demand in the U.S. and in some other countries with external deficits. On the other side, Emerging Asia’s current-account surplus ballooned from 1.7% of aggregate GDP in 2001 to 6.7% in 2007. China’s current account surplus was 0.7% of total global GDP in 2008. Elsewhere, Malaysia and Thailand saw their combined current-account surplus double to 10.3% of their GDP in 2007 from 5.2% in 2001. (Read More)