Asean Community To Kick In By End 2015

The Asean Community officially declared on Sunday morning (Nov 22) by leaders of the 10 member states of Asean, in a landmark moment promising greater regional integration for the 48-year-old grouping.

Twelve years in the making, the foremost goal of the Asean Community is to turn the region into a truly single market with a free flow of goods, capital and skilled labour across borders.

All 10 leaders, including Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, signed a declaration on the establishment of the Asean Community, which will come into effect on Dec 31, as well as a declaration on a blueprint for taking the grouping forward over the next 10 years.

Asean countries have already done away with most tariff barriers in practice and raising the competitiveness of Asean's manufacturing industry in global markets.

The combined GDP of Asean economies is expected to grow from US$2.6 trillion to US$4.7 trillion by 2020. Seen as a bloc it will be the seventh largest economy today, and has the potential to be the fourth largest in the world as early as 2030.

Source: Straits Times

Singapore Drops To 2nd Place In Built Asset Wealth Per Capita

Built Asset Wealth Per Capita

Image:  Arcadis

Image: Arcadis

Singapore which took top spot in 2013 with USD 156,000 per person, has fallen into 2nd place in terms of built asset wealth per capita, clocking in at USD 192,000 per capita behind Qatar’s USD 198,000, according to the latest (2015) Arcadis Global Built Asset Wealth Index conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).  

The 2015 index, calculating the productivity and economic value of infrastructures and buildings of 32 countries – which collectively represents around 87% of global GDP - also forecasts how this distribution of built asset wealth is likely to change over the next decade. 

Brief highlights of 2015 Global Built Asset Wealth Index Report
• Over the past two years, these countries have invested a net total of US$8 trillion in built asset stock, which totalled an estimated USD 218 trillion in built asset wealth, the equivalent to US$30,700 per person alive today.

• China has the largest built asset stock in the world with a total of US$47.6 trillion, overtaking the US total of US$36.8 trillion. Since 2000, China has aggressively invested USD33 trillion into its built assets.

• Qataris replace Singaporeans as the richest built asset population with a built asset wealth of US$198,000 per capita.

• Many G7 economies have seen a net de-investment through depreciation of their built assets since 2012. In Europe, only Poland, Spain, Belgium and Turkey have managed to increase their stock of built assets.


Spotlight on Singapore
The sustained economic performance of Singapore is reflected in its continual and focused investment in infrastructure,  retention of its high end manufacturing industry and a willingness to diversify into low cost alternatives.

Jurong East, bolstered by the future development of the High Speed Rail link between Singapore and Malaysia, with a terminal there, is emerging as a viable low cost occupancy commercial hub alternative to the Central Business District for many international organizations.

Such structured decentralization activities will continue to stretch the asset base into lower cost areas of Singapore, bringing a new diversity of wealth creating asset types.