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REGIONAL REPORTSOUTHEAST ASIA


China plays a transformational role across Southeast Asia


What happens in China doesn’t stay in China – the impact can ripple out across the region. Felicity Landon takes a look at the positives and negatives for the project logisticians active in Southeast Asia.


the price of oil also have their impact. However, this is far from a


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straightforward picture. In Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, there is more than enough room for optimism and, to put things in perspective, these economies are seeing growth figures that European nations can only dream of. Any slowing down of the Chinese


economy will have an effect not just on Southeast Asia but globally, said Kyriacos Panayides, managing director of multipurpose carrier AAL. “The region is bound to be impacted by China and by its tensions with the USA,” he said. “Southeast Asia has always been linked with China for finance.” Regional GDP growth is expected to dip


slightly due to China’s economic slowdown, with the exception of the Philippines, which remains steady, he stated. “Vietnam saw 6.9 percent growth in


2018, the Philippines 6.5 percent. We have not seen those sort of rates in Europe or the USA post-World War II,” he added. “Indonesia has healthy employment and


May/June 2019


stable inflation – an election is due this year but nothing seems to be a threat on the political front and public investment is robust.” The key driver for the economy in the


The region is bound to be impacted by China and by its tensions with the USA. Southeast Asia has always been linked with China for finance.


– Kyriacos Panayides, AAL


Philippines is President Rodrigo Duterte’s ‘Build Build Build’ project, focusing on massive infrastructure investment between 2017 and 2022. For Vietnam, exports are the main driver, said Panayides – the country is building a strong export market as a major fabricator for project components. Singapore-based AAL is a global operator


– but North and Southeast Asia remain its core markets. “We are mostly focused on project cargoes and certainly Southeast Asia has been one of the regions where we have


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rade wars and tensions, a general market slowdown, restricted access to finance – developments in China inevitably have a knock-on effect on the wider region, and issues such as


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