Emerging internationalization opportunities in Southeast Asia

Growth of Southeast Asian economies present significant opportunities of engagement for international recruitment, collaborations and study abroad programs.

A recent report by Boston Consulting Group notes that six Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) will see nearly 100 million people entering the consumer class (annual income more than $5,000) by 2015 with consumer spending expanding by 12 percent annually. These six nations have enjoyed annual growth rates of 6 to 9 percent, although, on purchasing-power parity basis, per capita GDP in 2010 ranged from $3,150 in Vietnam to $45,170 in Singapore. This expanding consumer class will demand quality higher education and aspire for global experiences.

The establishment of ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 aims to transform the region into a common market with free flows of goods, services, investment and workers. Despite its several challenges, ASEAN is expected to see greater mobility of qualified services professionals in the region. The mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) have been signed for seven professions–medical, dental, nursing, accountancy, engineering, architectural and surveying. While AEC would keep talent mobility within the region, it presents significant opportunity for foreign institutions to offer collaborative programs in these professions.

Dr. Rahul Choudaha

1 Comment

  1. Hi Rahul, great topic, timely post! I am less familiar with the other nations but have spent some time recently looking into Indonesia for various reasons. Indonesia has a growing GDP, manageable government debt and inflation rate. It is also the largest Southeast Asian economy, a member of the G20, soon to join the club of nations with a GDP of more than $1 trillion, improved credit ratings and apparent democratic stability.
    So Indonesia looks relatively well positioned, it has an outwardly positive economic outlook, driven in the main by domestic consumption and growth potential on the export side. But how has this come to be? Political instability looms despite apparent satisfaction with the 2009 election, Indonesias governance indicators have all taken a backward step, the business environment has hardly improved and there is the issue of corruption running through the highest levels of government. Underpining all this is the complexity of the country itself and the devolved arduous nature of regional and local government to circumnavigate.
    How well it can gear its own institutions up for collaboration, how well it can fund its young population to embark on this international adventure and whether these exchanges and collaborations are regional or international are factors I am uncertain about.
    Its a great prospect, its economy will demand that the next generation are able to take advantage of the so called 3rd Industrial Revolution; what do you think it has as a competitive advantage?

Comments are closed.