Southeast Asian countries in the report include Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia. By the end of 2016, the population in Southeast Asia had exceeded 600 million. The overall economic growth rate is higher than global average level and it becomes a major driving force of world economic development.
According to CRI’s research, significant gaps in economic development remain among the 10 countries in Southeast Asia. Singapore is the only developed country, which had the GDP per capita of over USD 50,000 in 2016, while the GDP per capita was less than USD 2,000 in Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. The population and minimum wage vary greatly among Southeast Asian countries. Brunei is the least populated country with less than 500,000 people, while Indonesia is the most-populous country with a population of over 200 million in 2016. The most developed country in Southeast Asian region does not set the legal minimum wage. The actual minimum wage is over 400 USD per month (foreign maidservant). In comparison, the minimum wage in Myanmar is only 93 USD per month.
The development of the automobile industry differs greatly among the Southeast Asian countries. According to the analysis of CRI, Thailand is the most developed country in terms of automobile manufacturing. Some world’s leading automobile manufacturers, such as Ford, Honda, Toyota and BMW have built factories in Thailand. In 2016, the production volume of automobiles was 2 million. The export volume of automobiles in Thailand was over 1 million. There are a lot of whole vehicle manufacturers in the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia. Myanmar has a small-scale automobile assembly industry. Singapore, Brunei, Laos and Cambodia do not have the automobile manufacturing industry. Generally speaking, automobile markets in most Southeast Asian countries are highly dependent on import. The imported products include whole vehicles and auto parts.
In general, the sales volume of automobiles in Southeast Asia presents an upward trend in recent years. Especially, the constant economic development in the Philippines and Vietnam stimulates the sales growth of automobiles.
CRI predicts that the automobile industry in Southeast Asia will maintain the fast growth from 2017 to 2021. For one thing, the relatively low labor cost in Southeast Asia will encourage whole vehicle and accessory manufacturers to shift the production capacity to this region. For another, the increasing demand for automobiles in Southeast Asian market will promote the export from the worldwide vehicle and accessory manufacturers to these countries.