No Reason for Asia to Be Smug

From the distance of a crisis-hit Euroland or a near static United States, Asia's economies still look good. But the closer one gets to individual countries the less appealing they seem. For a start, de-coupling from the west and hitching the wagon to China is being exposed as a half truth at best. Year-on-year trade numbers for export-oriented Asia still look good with double digit growth showing for most of them. But take a closer look and several countries are looking as though they have already reached a plateau. That is especially so for Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. They have benefited from strong commodity prices but volume exports appear stagnant at best.

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