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Asia’s five little tigers set to take flight: expert

Update: 23-02-2024 | 14:48:56

Vietnam, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, India and Thailand are Asia’s little tigers that are set to take flight, wrote Janet Pau, executive director of the Asia Business Council in an article published by the South China Morning Post on February 21.

The Vietnamese government is implementing policies to develop key industries, even in areas where they are unlikely to be competive. (Photo: VNA)

According to the article, in recent years, the five countries have garnered interest as a “China Plus One” destination for global supply chains. The five economies have in common large labour forces and potential consumer markets, offering opportunities for both domestic and international expansion.  

Pau said that those countries recognise the importance of investing in human capital, focusing on expanding access to education and improving teacher training. They are also investing in infrastructure projects to build robust connectivity and efficient logistics networks. These investments encompass areas such as transport, communication, energy and digital networks, she wrote.

She noted that governments of those countries are implementing industrial policies to grow key sectors,  even in areas where they are unlikely to be competitive.

The author also pointed out the difficulties that the new dragon economies have to face. That is a desire to attract foreign investment, but does not want that investment to displace domestic enterprises and jobs.

“They need to provide competitive manufacturing and labour costs, but face inflationary prices that outpace household wages and savings growth. They also need to industrialise at scale, which is usually energy-intensive, but want to ensure industrial activities do not destroy the environment,” wrote the author.

The five economies have the opportunity to chart growth paths that foster greater digitisation, sustainability and inclusion, according to the article. However, they should prioritise initiatives to create green jobs and digital jobs to cater to the needs of their increasingly educated and demanding young workforces.

The author said the five countries are undergoing rapid industrialisation, which is taking a toll on the environment. Thus, these countries must adopt sustainable measures and ensure that their economies continue to grow while fighting the adverse effects of climate change and natural disasters, she wrote./.

VNA

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