Southeast Asia’s economic promise is emerging as a global growth driver after years of being overshadowed by the China story.
At the heart of the Asean Economic Community, the region’s newly introduced single market, are three countries: Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia, home to nearly 450 of the region’s 600 million people and with a combined gross domestic product of more than $1.3 trillion in 2014.
Ironically, although Vietnam’s participation in the trade partnership is an attempt to diversify away from reliance on China, it is having the effect of increasing Chinese investment in Vietnam, said Brian Eyler, deputy director of the Stimson Center’s Southeast Asia Program.
“Chinese firms who seek to take part in the regional supply chain built by the TPP can only do so if they invest in TPP countries like Vietnam,” Mr. Eyler said.
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