ASEAN Market Watch: Tourism in Myanmar, Thailand 4.0, and Service Sector Growth in Singapore

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Myanmar: Tourism Industry Expected to Grow to See 7 Million Annual Customers by 2021

Projections indicate that Myanmar’s tourism industry will attract around 7 million tourists by 2021. This increased footprint is expected to generate revenue of around US$9 billion by 2021. The projections are based on the 2nd National Development Plan (2016-2021). The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism plan to grant more licenses for guesthouses, tours and tour guides to cater to the increased demand.

The projections bode well for businesses that intend to invest in the tourism sector in Myanmar. The increasing demand coupled with the government initiatives will enable investors to make significant gains in the market. The latest projections follow a trend of steady growth seen over the past five years. The industry’s earnings in 2013 were US$926 million and reached US$21 billion in 2015.

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Thailand: PM Releases Details of Thailand 4.0 Policy

General Prayut Chan-o-cha, the Thai Prime Minister, recently released details of the Kingdom’s Thailand 4.0 policy. The policy is structured to convert Thailand into a value-based economy through adopting a new economic model for development.  The policy aims to convert the country’s traditional farming techniques to smart farming, SMEs to smart SMEs, and traditional services to high-margin services. The policy also sets out to encourage innovation and boost integration with technology.

To implement these strategies, Thailand 4.0 targets 10 industrial groups as new engines of growth, of which around seven industries are expected to form the crux of the digital economy. The new policy’s primary objective is to pull Thailand out of the middle-income trap and assist in creating a high-income society. The policy highlights the government’s attitude towards to mechanization and digitization. These developments bode well for technology-oriented businesses that wish to invest in Thailand in the coming years.

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Singapore: Economy Witnesses Service-Sector Driven Growth

The economy of Singapore grew at a blistering pace in the second quarter (Q2) of 2016. Growth comes on the heels of a rally in the service industry, which recovered and posted strong growth in Q2. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Singapore increased by 0.8 percent from the first quarter (Q1). Singapore is dependent on the service industry which contributes nearly 69 percent of its GDP.

The service industry grew at 0.5 percent in Q2, compared to a 4.8 percent contraction in the previous three months. This marks an upturn in the economic environment in the country. However, economic analysts note that the growth of the services industry did not factor in the Brexit referendum. Businesses interested in the services industry in Singapore should ensure that they regularly monitor global economic changes and keep an eye on the economic growth to optimize their operating strategy in


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