A sea of opportunities in ASEAN’s post-pandemic future

ASEAN’s short-term investor sentiment might have turned negative, but their long-term fundamentals remain intact.

It’s been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started, yet the battle rages on. Most of us are exhausted with keeping track of the changing safety measures especially as the ASEAN region experiences recurrent waves of the pandemic in recent months and this has disrupted the region’s overall growth.

But even though the short-term investor sentiment has turned negative, the region’s long-term fundamentals have not been dampened. ASEAN might currently seem like a ship battered by waves of the pandemic, but once the harsh storm passes, we can expect smoother seas.

Factors shaping ASEAN’s horizon

One small win we’ve already seen is greater regional integration, which will lead to enhanced connectivity and competitiveness in ASEAN. Stronger trade ties built amidst the pandemic are setting off ripples of change that can turn the tide. With multinational corporations looking to relocate their supply chains from China to ASEAN, the establishment of a regional manufacturing hub here is likely to boost growth and create a sea of job opportunities.

The pandemic-driven digital boom too, has seen e-commerce taking over the region by storm. Can you imagine a life without Shopee, Lazada, or any other e-commerce sites? Most of us are familiar with the convenience of online shopping; with one click, almost anything from food to healthcare products can be shipped directly to your doorstep. It’s no wonder that online platforms are the fastest growing pillar of ASEAN’s internet economy, and investments in technology will thus remain strong, especially in fintech, healthtech and edtech.

Moreover, with more focus on infrastructure development, ASEAN might even become a hub for green infrastructure. As climate change becomes an increasingly urgent concern, more private investments will need to be channeled to meet the Paris Agreement’s climate target.

Looking ahead many companies are likely to benefit from ASEAN’s post pandemic recovery. To find out more, read our thought leadership article at Looking at ASEAN’s post pandemic future.

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