Global Logistics: Asia Pacific’s challenges and opportunities in market integration
September 01, 2012
Asia Pacific’s rapid-growth markets (RGMs) started to slow sharply since the beginning of this year, but this will only be a “temporary blip,” according to Ernst & Young’s quarterly Rapid-Growth Markets Forecast (RGMF). The analysts are particularly bullish on the recovery of Vietnam and Thailand.
“RGMs—particularly in Asia—have the necessary tools available to ease both fiscal and monetary policy allowing growth to resume towards the end of the year,” says Carl Astorri, senior economic adviser to Ernst & Young’s RGMF.
He says that RGMs are well placed to weather the major risks facing the global economy at the present time, given that they have the space to relax fiscal and monetary policy. “This has already happened in some RGMs—especially in India and China—and it’s likely that there will be further easing of monetary policy in the months ahead, particularly if the global economy deteriorates further.”
Analysts at Ti also forecast that the Asia Pacific contract logistics market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 13.9 percent between now and 2015. Growth will be strongest in China and the market is expected to double in size by 2015.
“China will become the largest market in the region overtaking Japan, which will see the lowest level of growth,” says Ti analyst Cathy Roberson. “However, the region remains susceptible to any deterioration in the global economy as exports and subsequently domestic demand would have a significant impact on the contract logistics industry.”
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines noted a slight decline of 0.8 percent compared to July 2011, while Asian ports continued to report mixed results with Hong Kong’s twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) declining almost 7 percent, but Singapore reporting a 9 percent increase. The mixed port data may indicate increasing demand among the Southeastern Asian countries as foreign investment continues to be infused into this region.
While domestic demand in the region generally remained strong, external demand declined. Exports to Europe fell considerably, resulting in a decline in manufacturing activity and acted as a drag on growth within the region.
Zepol Corporation, a leading trade intelligence company, reports that U.S. exports to Asia have been ramping up, thereby benefitting a number of major seaports. But U.S. manufacturers are continuing to lose market share. At the same time, industry analysts note that Asian countries have negotiated more than 160 trade agreements among themselves, while the U.S. has signed only three with regional countries—Singapore, Australia, and most recently South Korea.
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