Southeast Asia has made a dramatic change of top 5 richest countries in the region from the 1940s till now. It is possible to be based on the number of billionaires voted by Forbes magazine every year to make a list the richest Southeast Asian countries. In this article, GDP is selected the basic criterion to assess the economic development of a nation. Following is the list of the 5 richest countries in Southeast Asia.
In this article, GDP is selected the basic criterion to assess the economic development of a nation. Following is the list of the 5 richest countries in Southeast Asia.
Singapore – the richest country in Southeast Asia follow the capitalism
GDP per capita of 52,841 USD – the highest in the region
Singapore’s economy is the developed economy where the government’s intervention in the economy is minimized. Singapore has an open business environment, low number of cases of corruption, great financial transparency and stable prices. The export of electronic equipment, chemicals and services are the main supply for the source of income that is used for the purchase of natural resources and unprocessed goods that are not available in the country. Therefore, it can be said that Singapore entirely relies on the open economy by buying unprocessed goods, then processing them for export. The port city of Singapore is one of the busiest places in the world, far beyond Hong Kong and Shanghai. In addition, the port city of Singapore owns good infrastructure and skilled workforce that mainly results from good educational policies of training workers, which is also the basis for the economic development in Singapore.
Brunei – the 3rd oil exporting country in Southeast Asia
Average GDP: 36,609 USD
Brunei is one of the countries having the highest income in the world, which is mainly due to oil and natural gas reserves. The majority of food in this country is imported; the growth rate often achieved 3.5%, electricity output was 2.56 billion kWh, the consumption was 2.38 billion kWh; exports were $ 2.04 billion and imports were $1.38 billion. With huge oil reserves, Brunei becomes the fourth richest country in the world in 2015 and ranked second in Southeast Asia. However, the sharp decrease in oil prices in 2016 partly weakened Brunei’s economy. Thus, the government decided to further diversify the economy, for example, establish a new stock market in 2017 to boost capital markets.
Malaysia – economic growth achieved 4.9% in 2016
Average GDP: $ 9,766
The polarization of the domestic political environment made some impacts on the Malaysian economy in 2016. The slowdown in economic growth in China hampered Malaysia’s development in 2016 due to the falling demand for import. Nevertheless, the importing demand from the US helps the Malaysian economy kept in balance.
After achieving the growth rate of 5.3% in the first half of 2015, the Malaysian economy increased only 4.7% in the third quarter. The growth in the third quarter of 2015 was the slowest in recent two years. The slowdown of the consumption demand within Malaysia leads to the decrease in economic growth. The personal consumption decreased due to the introduction of the taxation of goods and services in April 2015.
Thailand – a market economy depending on exports
Average GDP: $ 5,816
With exports accounting for 60% of nominal GDP at Thailand’s market exchange rate of $ 200 billion. The recovery of Thailand from the Asian financial crisis from 1997 to 1998 relies on exports that were mostly due to external demand from the United States and other foreign markets. The diversity of manufacturing sector in Thailand made the biggest contribution to the economic growth during the period of economic boom. Some fast growing industries are computers, electronics, garments, wood furniture and canned food, toys, gems and jewelry. High-tech products such as components, integrated circuits, electrical appliances, motor vehicles are ranked first in the Thailand’s export growth.
Indonesia – the economy of over thousand dollars
Average GDP: $ 3,347
As for 2015, the GDP per capita in Indonesia is predicted to rise to $8,700 from $3,400 in 2016. At that time, Indonesia became one of the largest emerging consumption markets in the world. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Indonesia’s economy grew 5% in 2016 and strongly developed in 2015 and 2016 resulting from the recovery of exports; the reduction of currency and the increase in public investment of the government.
However, according to Biswas, the Indonesian economy still faced with a number of challenges including improving the business environment and generating opportunities of employment for the large population annually.