When looking at drivers of economic growth, ASEAN is a region sometimes overlooked for its potential and overshadowed by economic powerhouses such as China and the United States.
Yet in recent years, ASEAN has emerged as a dynamic and rapidly evolving economic hub, displaying resilience in the face of unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Asian Development Bank, South-East Asia‘s GDP growth for July 2023 was projected at a robust 4.6%, compared to the slower rates of 1.1% for the United States, 0.5% for the Euro area, and 0.6% for Japan.
The region’s strength resides in its diversity of languages, cultures, economies and, most critically, its vibrant and increasingly tech-savvy young population. In its journey to fast-track through the traditional stages of development and fulfil its potential as a global economic centre, ASEAN is strategically embracing and fostering two main drivers of growth: innovation and inclusivity.
With a combined population exceeding 650 million, ASEAN’s demographic power stands as a formidable driver of its economy. The demographic dividend, with a youthful population, creates a favourable context for accelerated economic growth and development.
An economy can only be as strong as the people that contribute to its growth, and this demographic advantage underscores the importance of ensuring that all segments of the population contribute and benefit. As such, ASEAN’s priority is to address disparities across and within member states by promoting digital transformation and human welfare.