The global recession and COVID-19 pandemic heavily affected CLMV economies in 2020, resulting in major slowdown in Vietnam and Myanmar whereas Laos and Cambodia faced economic contractions from additionally specific negative factors.
While showing signs of bottoming out in 2020, the overall CLMV recovery thus far remained sluggish, with the exception of Vietnam, supported by its robust exports and success in contained COVID-19 cases. For 2021F, EIC expects the overall CLMV economic recovery to remain gradual and uneven, while continuing to hinge on 3 major factors:
1) the effectiveness of COVID-19 containment and vaccine progress,
2) the size of stimulus packages to mitigate the scarring effects, while waiting for the herd immunity, expected to take place in 2022F in this region, and
3) country specific risks, such as debt distress in Laos and recent political uncertainty in Myanmar.
Within the region, Vietnam’s economy is projected the fastest growth due to ongoing strong exports performance for electronics products and a resilient domestic economy.
Meanwhile, Myanmar is expected to have another sluggish year due to negative factors from both the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic and political turmoil.