China, the largest of the economies under our coverage in the Emerging Asia Pacific region, was in the spotlight during the review period for a political development that could have far-reaching implications for the country as well as the global economy. Domestically, growth in the world’s second largest economy is expected to slow down in 2018 as the Chinese government bolsters its efforts to curtail risks in its financial system and shuts down polluting factors.
Japan, the largest of the economies under our coverage in the Developed Asia region, contracted in the first quarter of 2018. Notwithstanding the blip, the government of Japan appears optimistic about the growth prospects for the economy, citing positive trends in consumer spending, and a rise in exports and capital investment by firms.
Taiwan, the East Asian island that has close political and economic ties with China, has made a name for itself in the field of global electronics manufacturing. Taiwan formed a network of notebook-PC manufacturers in the late 80s that made its products household names across the world. Yet, the relationship between the Middle Kingdom and Taiwan is fraught with mutual distrust that weighs on Taiwan’s economic prospects. In fact, China’s stranglehold over its neighbor is so complete that Taiwan has official bilateral trade deals only with Singapore and New Zealand, nations with which China too has trade ties.
For a country which originally made its name as a trade entrepot, exports are crucial to Singapore's growth. The economy, which started off with exports of textiles and basic electronic goods in the 70s, graduated to biotech, consumer electronics, pharmaceuticals, and semiconductor exports in the 90s.Singapore has emerged as the fourth-largest offshore financial center in the world.
Diverse, myriad hues have colored this nation, offering such cultural variety and geographical complexity that a journey to Indonesia is a tryst with nature. With a varied tapestry of colors, Indonesia, like many countries in the South East Asian region, was traumatized by a destructive past – yet not destroyed.
Nothing merits more attention than Japan’s long-standing debt problem. Deflation, a situation where there is a fall in the general price levels, as opposed to inflation, has been the bane of the Japanese economy.Educational reforms, too, are likely needed to improve the economy’s productivity, with more investment required in pre-primary education as well as in university education.
Notwithstanding certain challenges, the small fishing harbor of yesteryear has established itself as an oasis of free market in an otherwise chaotic Asia. The soothing breeze of democracy may well be the tailwind which Hong Kong badly needs.
Thomas White International is an independent, employee-owned asset management firm with offices in Chicago and Bangalore, India. Employing a value style, our investment approach blends a highly detailed, quantitative equity valuation method, with disciplined stock selection by a seasoned investment team. Backed by an exhaustive research process, the breadth of our research allows us to spot opportunities in relatively less known regions, while the depth of our process seeks to reduce risks through detailed evaluation of the regulatory environment, industry competition, and management quality. From mutual funds, to separately managed accounts, and institutional portfolios, Thomas White International now offers a large bouquet of asset management offerings, covering international, global, and emerging markets mandates.
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