Connecting Asia's Economies
Since its inception in 1990, Labuan IBFC has grown from strength to strength and has evolved into a financial centre that has facilitated the growth of Asian corporates and participated in Asia's rise into one of the most dynamic regions in the world.
As Labuan IBFC celebrates its 25th anniversary, the centre continues to expand its foot print in providing the business and financial interconnectivity in the region and maintains its position as a well-regulated and reputable IBFC for Asia.
CHAIRMAN'S STATEMENT IN 2015, THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY REMAINED MODEST. THE UNFOLDING DEVELOPMENTS GOING INTO 2016 INDICATE A CHALLENGING FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT. THE SLOWER ECONOMIC GROWTH PROSPECTS IN SEVERAL LARGE EMERGING MARKET ECONOMIES AND THE SUSTAINED LOW ENERGY AND COMMODITY PRICES ARE EXPECTED TO WEIGH ON THE GLOBAL GROWTH PROSPECTS IN 2016.
Confronted with these developments, the Asian economies have , however, demonstrated their abilities to weather the challenges, having benefitted from the earlier efforts to strengthen the economic foundations that were further reinforced with long term financial reforms, capacity building initiatives and the forging of greater regional economic and financial integration.
The year 2015 marked a key milestone in the ASEAN integration agenda with the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). ASEAN has emerged as an important growth centre in the global economy and has been recognised as one of the most dynamic regions in the world. The ASEAN economies have achieved significant progress during this challenging time, sustaining their long term average GDP growth of 5.3%, higher than the global growth average of 3.6%. ASEAN's combined GDP has nearly doubled since 2007, when the AEC Blueprint was first adopted to the current prevailing value of USD2.5 trillion. Additionally, the average GDP per capita has increased by almost 20% to more than USD10,000 in the same period.
The rapid progress of regional economic integration in ASEAN has unlocked the further potential of the region to have a greater role in the greater Asia and the global economy, with widening access to the regional and international markets. While the environment of low commodity prices combined with volatility in the international financial markets have brought pressures to the regional currencies, the strengthening of cross-border trade and investments, the greater public spending and increased consumption power of the rising middle class from the 630 million population of the ASEAN region has sustained an economic growth estimated at 4.7% in 2015. This is expected to be sustained going forward...