The land of “instant Asia” Singapore and the land of “Ascending Dragons” Vietnam have successfully controlled coronavirus in 2020 and also assumed that the situation will be under control in the next year, as per the economist report this week.
Joseph Incalcaterra of HSBC Global Research in response to a question on which the Southeast Asia countries will able to keep COVID under control and smoothly rolling out vaccines said “Those two countries probably stand out most positively.”
On Tuesday, the chief ASEAN economist told the reporter that Singapore has brought their previous outbreaks under control and at the time when most of the countries all over the world are busy tightening restrictions, Singapore was going on the opposite way.
In this week the city-state has entered into the third phase of reopening and now allows the gather of eight people which was five before. Tourist attractions can increase their operating capacities from 50% to 65% after approval from the authorities.
Incalcaterra said that Singapore has become an effective vaccine strategy. He also said, “Thanks to a relatively small population, the outlook for Singapore is extremely bright for 2021 by relative standards.”
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Long said that in the third quarter of 2021 there will be enough vaccines for everyone in Singapore. On 21st December 2020, this country was the first in Asia to receive a shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
HSBC’s Incalcaterra not only praised Singapore but also Vietnam’s for handling the virus. He also said that its response to the pandemic allowed the country to maintain its reputation as a very good destination for foreign direct investment. The country has now become an alternative manufacturing hub for companies that want to separate from China. He also mentioned, “We saw that actually FDI this year remains very resilient into Vietnam.”
He exclaimed that Southeast Asia might not find an advantage from the vaccine in the future, given the logistic difficulties in rural parts of the region. “It’s very unlikely that we see a significant share of the population inoculated in 2021.”
Distinctly, Incalcaterra also said that coronavirus has “hit very hard” this year. “From a domestic perspective, the traditional consumer engine of these economies is no longer intact. We really don’t have great visibility on the short-term recovery, given how deep the damage is.”
Well, when electronic export was relatively bright, HSBC is highly focusing on how quickly consumption and investment can ricochet in the region. Incalcaterra also said countries had been pursuing “very ambitious infrastructure programs” to make the region a reliable manufacturing production base. Because of the coronavirus, these projects were stalled.
He said, “Until the virus is under control … we’re not going to see this investment engine regain its momentum.” That’s, I think, the biggest short-term hindrance to growth in Southeast Asia.”