ASEAN Economic Community News
Regional Economic Outlook
The ASEAN Secretariat reports that ASEAN in 2017 will continue to see strong economic growth that should match its 4.8% growth in 2016. The Secretariat attributes the growth to the strengthening of private consumption and private investment in the region. In 2018, they expect domestic demand growth to be driven by 1) consumption, backed by stable labor market conditions and wage growth, and 2) demand, backed by public spending on infrastructure projects and fiscal stimulus. Downside risks include potential disruptions due to global trade policy adjustments and changes in monetary policies.
ASEAN Power Grid
At the ASEAN Ministers of Energy meeting in September, Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia plan on signing a tripartite electricity-trading agreement which could initiate the start of the ASEAN Power Grid. The agreement covers the sale of 100 megawatts of electricity generated in Laos and transferred to Malaysia using Thailand’s transmission system. The planned ASEAN Power Grid will be a secure, reliable integrated electricity infrastructure that will help stimulate regional economic growth and development.