How is COVID-19 affecting the outlook of Myanmar’s garments industry?

Myanmar Garments Emerging Markets

A single industry can push frontier markets into the mainstream. For Myanmar this was pegged to be the garments industry. With wages rising in China, manufacturers and investors have been searching for the new factory of the world. Are the fundamentals in Myanmar strong enough to weather the coronavirus pandemic and to rise above its ASEAN neighbours? Sector overview Garment exports rose from $349m in 2010 to over $4.6bn in 2018. With over 530 factories across the country, and a factory compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%, this exceptional…

Read More

Southeast Asia’s tourism and travel sector after COVID-19: a way forward

Emerging Markets Tourism And Travel In Southeast Asia And Regional Or Local

The coronavirus started in China before spreading to other countries. Southeast Asia’s travel and tourism sector felt the impact of the virus right away due to the decline in arrivals from China. The subsequent spread of the virus resulted in lockdowns and other social restriction policies which made the damage to the sector even worse. With tourism and travel activities coming to an almost complete halt, ASEAN governments are now slowly looking for a way out. Powerhouse Tourism and travel are undeniably important to the Southeast Asian region. The sector…

Read More

Emerging markets are in trouble, but there might be hope

emerging markets economy

Emerging markets and frontier markets, despite their huge potential, represent risk. That is particularly noticeable in times of crisis like today. The Institute of International Finance (IIF) reported that investors have taken $95b USD out of Emerging Market stocks and bonds since late January. Fiscal challenges Investors have every reason to be concerned. Most emerging market governments have large budget deficits and unsustainable public debt ratios. Both human and fiscal costs could eventually force distressed emerging markets to default on their debts. Capital Economics notes that 17 emerging market governments…

Read More

How the coronavirus is impacting Egypt’s economic outlook

Egypt economic impact

Egypt has been identified as the origin of several coronavirus infections in other countries long before it confirmed its own cases. The country appears to have slowed down its initial response due to political necessity and in order to support the tourism sector, as well as its inadequate healthcare infrastructure. Regardless, the impact of the crisis on Egypt’s economy is inevitable. Political Instability So far, Egypt has imposed a nationwide overnight curfew and ban on public gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. In this period, Muslims traditionally come…

Read More

Coronavirus boosts use of e-doctor apps in Indonesia

E-doctor apps (also known as telemedicine) have benefited from structural problems in Indonesia’s healthcare sector and the country’s booming digital economy over the last decade. The coronavirus crisis turns out to be a further boost for the sector, possibly fueling the creation of a unique digitally native medical system. Start-up Culture Many telemedicine start-ups have emerged in Indonesia over the last years. Alodokter, Halodoc and GrabHealth are the most prominent and offer easily accessible digital consultations. Indonesians can even have medicines prescribed and delivered. It is not weird that telemedicine services…

Read More

Digital First: ASEAN Countries Still Face Core Challenges

Children in indonesia studying with laptops

WASHINGTON DC– Homegrown Ride-Hailing APPS, intelligent traffic systems, advanced construction techniques, automated energy-consumption management all propel the innovation wave washing over the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Indonesia’s vibrant digital ecosystem, for example, boasts more than 1,700 start-ups—among the world’s largest clusters of new firms. GO-JEK, to name one, evolved from a ride-hailing app to a platform for mobile payments and other digital services. In Singapore, Sea, the most valuable start-up in the region—worth several billion dollars—began as an online gaming company and branched out into mobile money and…

Read More

Electric cars in Africa: this could happen sooner than we think

Coming back from a trip to East Africa two impressions and one conclusion stayed with me: for the first time in decades there will be a electricity surplus in East Africa and Kenyans are great innovators (Uber watch out!). The conclusion: There is a great opportunity for electric vehicles! Electricity Coming from a supposedly “green” Germany, that still generates around 40% of its power from coal – it struck me that East Africa is almost completely based on renewable power with a diversified base: hydro, geothermal, wind and solar resources.…

Read More

Venezuela is fast becoming a ‘mafia state’: here’s what you need to know

Last week, Nicolás Maduro was sworn in for his second six-year term as Venezuela’s president. Maduro won the election off the back of international condemnation of vote buying and electoral fraud. While the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, called Venezuela’s government “illegitimate”, Maduro declared: Venezuela is at the centre of a world war led by the United States imperialism and its satellite countries. Such statements have become par for the course by a leader and government determined to frame Venezuela’s political, social and economic woes as a product of…

Read More