Business Essentials for Professionals


Despite Citing Geopolitical Risks, East Asia Growth Forecasts For 2017.2018 Raised By World Bank

Despite Citing Geopolitical Risks, East Asia Growth Forecasts For 2017.2018 Raised By World Bank
While saying that the generally positive outlook for East Asia and Pacific was clouded by risks such as rising trade protectionism and geopolitical tensions, the World Bank raised its economic growth forecasts for the developing region for this year and 2018.
With an overall grow 6.4 percent in 2017 and 6.2 percent in 2018, the Washington-based lender now expects the developing East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region, which includes China, to grow.
6.2 percent growth in 2017 and 6.1 percent growth in 2018 was its previous forecast in April.
"The economic outlook for the region remains positive and will benefit from an improved external environment as well as strong domestic demand," the World Bank said in its latest East
Asia and Pacific Economic Update report on Wednesday.
However, in addition to the possible escalation of geopolitical tensions in the region, the outlook faces risks from rising trade protectionism and economic nationalism, which could dampen global trade, the bank said.
fears of a miscalculation that could lead to war, particularly since Pyongyang conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3 have been raised by increasingly hostile statements by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in recent weeks.
"Because of the region's central role in global shipping and manufacturing supply chains, escalation of these tensions could disrupt global trade flows and economic activity," the World
Bank said.
The bank said that there could be a "flight to safety" that spurs capital outflows and that could be accompanied by financial market volatility that would likely hamper economic growth in the region.
China's economy is expected to grow 6.7 percent in 2017 and 6.4 percent in 2018, the World Bank said. China was earlier forecast to grow 6.5 percent in 2017 and 6.3 percent next year by the bank.
The bank said that as the economy rebalances away from investment and external demand towards domestic consumption, China's economic growth is projected to moderate in 2018-2019.
While raising forecasts for Malaysia and Thailand, growth forecasts for several countries in Southeast Asia including Myanmar and the Philippines, were cut by the World Bank.
"Businesses in Myanmar appear to have delayed investments as they wait for the government's economic agenda to become clearer," said the bank.
for both 2017 and 2018, to 6.4 percent and 6.7 percent, respectively, it cut Myanmar's growth forecasts by 0.5 percentage points.
"These projections do not factor in any longer-term impact of the ongoing insecurity in Rakhine State, which if it persists could have significant adverse effects by slowing foreign investment."
Denounced by the United Nations as "ethnic cleansing" has been a Myanmar military crackdown in Rakhine State launched in late August which has resulted in more than half a million Rohingya have fleeing from the country.
The World Bank said that the economic growth prospects in the Philippines has been softened by a delay in a planned government infrastructure programme.
while Thailand's growth forecasts have been revised higher due to a stronger recovery in exports and tourism, Malaysia's growth is gaining a lift from higher investment and a recovery in global trade, it added.

Christopher J. Mitchell

Markets | Companies | M&A | Innovation | People | Management | Lifestyle | World | Misc