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April Newsletter: APAC Economic Development, FDI, Trade & Investment

APAC solidifies its position as a global economic powerhouse as we enter Altasia!

HEADLINES: March Trade Update | US House Passes ASEAN Act | Malaysia Attracts Record FDI | EU-Thailand FTA | Altasia – A New Shorthand for the Alternative Supply Chain To China | Indonesia Targets 66$Billion in FDI | China-South Pacific Trade Talks | What Start-Ups Need To Know About SE Asia & Much more.....

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

March proved to be an eventful month as the Asia-Pacific region continued to solidify its position as a global economic powerhouse. With the US passing the ASEAN act and the UK joining the CPTPP, the region's importance in global trade was highlighted. The renewed confidence in China's manufacturing industry and the rekindling of EU-Thailand FTA talks further contributed to the region's economic growth story, while plans for significant FDI investments in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia underscored its appeal to international investors. As the Asia-Pacific serves as a gateway to 60% of the world's population, its significance in the global economic landscape is set to continue growing. Interestingly, the emergence of the new term 'Altasia' signifies a shift in regional dynamics from China +1 to viable alternatives in the APAC region, which further reinforces the region's importance as a prime destination for international trade and investment.

In line with our commitment to building resources and capacity for trade development communities across Asia and the Pacific, the Trade Development Week Blog has now exceeded 900 articles and reports on economic development, FDI, Trade & Investment, with over 5000 subscribers.

This milestone reflects the growing interest in the region and the need for valuable insights into its economic potential. With further announcements on major regional events and webinars in the coming weeks, the Trade Development Week Blog continues to play a vital role in supporting the region's economic growth and development and we thank you for your continued support.… And on with the news….

FREE REPORT: When Are Executives Most Likely To Contact An IPA During Site Selection?

When are European executives most likely to contact an investment promotion agency during a #SiteSelection project? The answer may surprise you. Interesting reading from the team at CStudios and OCO Global share the insights. MORE

NEWS: Our summary of the top stories for the economic development, FDI, trade & investment community in the Asia Pacific region.

US House Passes Partner With ASEAN Act

The United States House of Representatives has passed the Partner with ASEAN Act – which would authorize ASEAN to be designated as an international organization with diplomatic privileges and immunities. This would put the regional bloc on par with the European Union and the African Union.

AltAsia! These Countries Could Lure Manufacturing Away From China

A lot of new portmanteaus have appeared in the pages of The Economist in recent years, many of them referring to phenomena in business and economics. Readers (and correspondents) have acquainted themselves with Bidenomics, permacrisis and DeFi. This month we welcomed a new one: Altasia!

UNCTAD: Global Trade Update March 2023

· The resilience of global trade in 2022, reaching a record $32 trillion, despite geopolitical tensions

· The strong performance of trade in “green goods”, growing by about 4% in the second half of the year and hitting a record $1.9 trillion in 2022

· The downturn of global trade in goods during the last quarter of the year, particularly the trade from developing economies

· The expected continued stagnation of trade in the first quarter of 2023 with a more positive outlook for the second half of the year

Malaysia Attracts RM264.6 Bln Approved Investments In 2022, 2nd Largest Ever Recorded

Malaysia has approved investments worth RM 264.6 billion, expected to create 140,370 job opportunities through a total of 4,454 projects. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) contributed 61.7% with RM 163.3 billion while Domestic Direct Investment (DDI) made up 38.3% with RM 101.3 billion.

What Startups Should Know About Expanding Into Southeast Asia

For startups looking to expand into or across the Southeast Asian region, here are useful insights to know and consider about six of its markets: #Singapore, #Malaysia, #Thailand, #Indonesia, #Vietnam, and the #Philippines.

Thailand’s New Economy Game-Changer - Riding A Surge In Investment Pledges

In total, Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) received some $20 billion worth of new investment applications in 2022 – a 39 percent increase on the previous year. And as 2023 dawned, the BOI doubled down by launching an even more ambitious five-year investment promotion strategy.

2023-2024 World Association Of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA) Membership Asia Pacific Being a member at WAIPA is valuable for investment promotion agencies as it is the global reference point for FDI. Connect, broaden your knowledge, vote, and more. Besides, get special promotions for events, conferences, and training held by WAIPA or our partner institutions. Contact me for details or to request information on training and development opportunities for the investment promotion community:

China, South Pacific Trade Talks Being Explored, And The Islands Want To Gauge China’s ‘Appetite’

- South Pacific is no longer the ‘hole of the Asia-Pacific doughnut’, and the biggest economies want a bigger bite

- China is also looking to cement an economic foothold in the region, but such formal pacts often take years to negotiate and rubber stamp

EU and Thailand Relaunch FTA Negotiations

The EU and Thailand announced the relaunch of negotiations for an ambitious, modern and balanced free trade agreement (FTA), with sustainability at its core. This announcement confirms the key importance of the Indo-Pacific region for the EU trade agenda, paving the way for deeper trade ties with the second largest economy in South-East Asia and further strengthening the EU's strategic engagement with this burgeoning region.

Indonesia Targets $66b In Foreign Investment For 2023, Up 7.5% From 2022

Indonesia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, is targeting nearly US$49 billion (S$66.2 billion) in foreign direct investment (FDI) this year, about a 7.5 percent increase over inflows for 2022, said the chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN).

FDI Shows Global Firms Upbeat About China

Jan-Feb data reveal foreign investment up 6% y-o-y, with high-tech shining. Global companies remain steadfast in their view that increasing investment in China is a smart strategy as its market's appealing consumption power, ongoing industrial upgrade and higher-level opening-up are big confidence boosters, said market watchers and business executives.

ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook in Five Charts

ASEAN+3 growth in 2022 is projected at 3.3 percent, mainly driven by robust economic activity in ASEAN. Growth is expected to strengthen to 4.3 percent in 2023, buoyed by the economic reopening in China and the resumption of international tourism. Here are the region’s prospects summarized in five key charts, as seen in AMRO’s latest ASEAN+3 Regional Economic Outlook.

RESOURCES & REPORTS: Our monthly summary of the key resources and reports that matter – follow the links to download for free.

UN ESCAP: Asia & The Pacific SDG Progress Report 2023

This report analyses progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals in Asia and the Pacific as well as the availability of data. It shines a spotlight on countries that have demonstrated a commitment to achieve sustainable development.

Asia's Dominance In Clean Energy Technology Manufacturing

Visualizing Where Clean Energy Technologies Are Manufactured - When looking at where clean energy technologies and their components are made, one thing is very clear: China dominates the industry. The country, along with the rest of the Asia Pacific region, accounts for approximately 75% of global manufacturing capacity across seven clean energy technologies.

UNCTAD: Technology and Innovation Report 2023

The Technology and Innovation Report 2023 highlights the opportunities that green innovation – goods and services with smaller carbon footprints – offer developing countries to spur economic growth and enhance technological capacities.

An Introduction to Doing Business in Indonesia 2023

After gaining independence in 1945, Indonesia experienced rapid industrialization during the 1970s on the back of strong oil exports before labor-intensive industries became the new engine of growth in the late 1980s. The country is now the largest economy in Southeast Asia with a US$1.38 trillion economy by nominal GDP, and a member of the G20.

UNCTAD: “Evolution of foreign direct investment (FDI) screening mechanisms: key trends and features”

The investment landscape has been rapidly changing and FDI screening mechanisms have become an increasingly important tool for governments to protect national security. Our report provides an overview of the latest trends, legislative options, and approaches to FDI screening in different countries.

The World’s Happiest Countries in 2023

Measuring subjective ideas like happiness and life satisfaction is tricky business. Are wealth and prosperity legitimate measures of happiness? How about safety and health outcomes?

UPCOMING EVENTS 2023: A quick snapshot of some of the essential events to add to your diaries in 2023, we look forward to meeting you at many of them in person!

· 2023 SelectUSA Investment Summit, 1-4 May, National Harbor, Maryland, USA

· Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), 8-10 May, Abu Dhabi, UAE

· The 133rd China Import And Export Fair, 1-5 May, Guangzhou

· China International Fair for Investment & Trade, September 8-11, Xiamen

KW Group: Asia Pacific Experts On Economic Development, FDI, Trade, and Investment

​KW Group is an independent consultancy that specializes in economic development, FDI, trade, investment, and market access. Since 2010, the company has been serving clients in both the public and private sectors, with a strong focus on the Asia-Pacific region and headquarters in Malaysia. KW Group's expertise spans across several areas including economic development, investment promotion, trade, policy, research, strategy, capacity building, and market access. Feel free to reach out for details


- FDI & Investment Promotion - Trade, Export & Market Access Programs - Research, Policy & Strategy Development & Capacity Building

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Warm Regards, Andrew Keable

Managing Partner, KW Group, Regional Advisor Asia Pacific, World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (WAIPA)

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