A lively discussion on the global economic outlook, particularly Southeast Asia’s bright spots against the gloom of Europe, was shared between INCEIF students and faculty, and a representative from the authoritative news magazine The Economist.
Mr Justin Wood, Director for Southeast Asia, Economist Corporate Network of The Economist, today discussed findings from a recent research report on the economic potentials of Asean titled `Riding The Asean Elephant’ with INCEIF students and faculty at INCEIF’s series of industry talk. The report, authored by Mr Wood, covered the current challenges and future outlook of major economies of the world including the US, Europe and China, and Asean’s share of the economic pie.
Mr Wood presenting a talk on `Riding the Asean Elephant’ at INCEIF.
“If you look at the picture of the world in general, we will see bright spots in Southeast Asia and Asean in particular. This is an a.ttractive destination for foreign investors to consider. The economies of these Asean countries are being driven by their respective domestic demand as the middle-class grows, and with it the consumer spending power. Few companies doubt the powerful economic story unfolding in Southeast Asia, with its resilient growth, its large population, and its impressive consumer spending story,” added Mr Wood.
Taking a question from the audience, Mr Wood said he agreed that the recent debt and financial crisis in US and Europe had provided an opportunity for policy makers and industry players to re-look at traditional excess practices that precipitated the crisis. Those opportunities however have been squandered and “no solution has been provided. In fact the patient has not been cured and has just been kept alive.”
He added that he could not say whether Islamic finance would be the answer to the problem but certainly what INCEIF is doing, promoting Islamic finance studies and research, is a move towards the right direction in finding a possible solution.
Mr Wood runs the emerging markets advisory service of The Economist Group for Southeast Asia through the Economist Corporate Network service.
The team works with companies to understand the economics, politics, risks, opportunities and business landscape in Asia Pacific. His specialty areas are Southeast Asia and India, as well as Asia more generally. He oversees production of research and reports analysing these markets, and work with client companies on their investment strategies in the region. He also writes for The Economist and other publications.
The Economist Corporate Network service shares its research and analysis of Asia’s markets through a programme of exclusive seminars, regular reports and data, and through private client briefings and strategy sessions. It also host a regular series of “Government Roundtables” where investors meet key government figures. So far, these events have been held with the governments of Vietnam (three times), Indonesia (twice), Malaysia, the Philippines and Cambodia.
For the full ‘Riding The Asean Elephant’ report, click here.