- September 29, 2004, pffc-online.com
With the fastest period of economic growth since the financial crisis of 1997-98, South East Asia is now anticipating long-term sustainable market expansion, higher manufacturing output and investment opportunities, reports Tarsus, organizer/sponsor of Labelexpo Singapore.
"Look at the current economic indicators coming out of South East Asia, and it looks as if the economic upturn now being experienced there should bring a period of robust growth to the region. Quite simply, Asia is booming — and that should be good news for exhibitors at Labelexpo Singapore 2004," states the Labelexpo Singapore 2004 web site, which goes on to say:
Thailand for example, is presently growing at 7% a year. That’s twice as fast as North America, and three to four times that of Europe. That should aid sales of label production technology, materials and services into a country with ongoing international investment — including major retail groups like Tesco.
GDP growth in Malaysia in the first three months of 2004 was higher-than-expected at 7.6% — the strongest growth since the financial crisis of 1997-98 — and this is forecast to be sustainable on a long-term basis. Indeed, Malaysia’s manufacturing output leapt 13.3% higher in June compared to the same month last year, with Malaysia now looking to achieve developed country status by 2020. Developed country status in turn demands developed country technology and products.
Singapore too, is putting up a strong showing — expanding at an annualized rate of 9.1% in the second quarter of this year, with falling unemployment rates from jobs being created in manufacturing and services. While Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago with more than 13,500 islands and the world’s fourth most populous nation, has averaged 6.8% growth per annum for the last 27 years, yet is still expected to record faster growth in 2005 than in 2004.
Put together, the latest polls from throughout the Asia regions show that virtually all economies (apart from South Korea) are expected to grow faster in 2004 than their average over the past five years. Even efforts to reign in the Chinese economy leave analysts still expecting growth of almost 9% in the country this year, little changed from 2003.
What does all this mean for the label industry and the key industry suppliers? Well, while some of the focus in Asia has shifted to the growth economy in China — hence the recent success of Labelexpo China 2003 — the key South East Asian markets of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia have been steadily recovering from the financial crisis of six to seven years ago and are now back close to the patterns of growth achieved in the early to mid 1990s. In fact, the main South East Asian countries are getting close to the same kind of growth as that being achieved in China, while Singapore is already back at a similar level of growth to China.
Tarsus says all this growth "can only mean opportunities for equipment, materials, and product sales to the region's label converters are now at their best since 1998." The trade show organizer adds, "Yes, China is important, but there is still tremendous growth potential in South East Asia."
Learn more about Labelexpo Singapore 2004 at labelexpo-singapore.com.