Annual reports from the Boao Forum for Asia say that Asia remains competitive in creativity, tech innovation, and economic openness. Some are concerned whether Asia can keep its competitiveness in face of global volatility, but Leslie Maasdorp, vice president of the BRICS New Development Bank is bullish on the momentum of Asian economies.
“There is no question as the reports suggested. Asia right now is and will continue to be a significant growth engine in the world economy,” he told CGTN.
He mentioned that, in addition to traditional growth engines, the openness of the economy, application of new technology as well as innovation become the new sources of growth in Asia.
2018 witnessed some serious currency depreciation in emerging economies, between 10 and 40 percent against the U.S. dollar. Maasdorp said that it’s fundamentally because of a strong U.S. dollar, not a domestic problem.
“Emerging markets suffer from the direct impact of the movement in the U.S. interest rate. If the U.S. dollar rises, it directly leads to the reversing capital flows out of the emerging markets. So many of the emerging markets, like Brazil, South Africa, and Turkey, suffer from this,” he explained.
“Let’s take Turkey as an example. The impact of that significant depreciation in the Lira has taken huge and immediate effect on other emerging markets,” he added.
He noted that for Asian economies or any other emerging market, the key thing is to insulate from any extremeness of global volatility. “You can do this in a number of ways. One way is to have strong savings and investment rate, which is Asian economies have,” he said.
He also said that other emerging markets are not so fortunate as their investment flows are influenced by external volatility. And he thought commodity-based economies are more easily affected by external factors as they are pricing commodities in U.S. dollars.
As the U.S. Fed signals no rate hike for 2019, he believed that depreciation pressure would be absolutely eased. “A stable U.S. interest rate that is predictable for the future should provide a better environment for investment decision,” he stressed, projecting that emerging economies would develop in a more stable and predictable environment.
ISSUED BY: CGTN Global Business