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ASEAN economies poised to keep robust growth in 2013

By Tan Shih Ming (Xinhua)

15:38, December 11, 2012

SINGAPORE, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Backed by robust domestic demand, the economies of the member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to maintain healthy growth in the upcoming year despite weakness in exports brought about by sluggish external demand, especially from the U.S. and Euro-zone.

Global demand is likely to remain lethargic in 2013 with the U. S. and Euro-zone economies continuing to de-leverage and experience fiscal woes further down the road. The so-called " fiscal cliff" in the U.S. will dominate concerns in early next year as American lawmakers will be engaged in a vigorous debate over the details of the fiscal budget compromise. The Euro-zone, on the other hand, can only adopt stop-gap measures to avoid an escalation of the Euro-zone sovereign debt crisis.

By contrast, ASEAN's robust domestic demand will continue to mitigate the negative effects of weak exports. ASEAN has been remarkably resilient this year despite a global economic slowdown, even registering better-than-expected gross domestic product (GDP) growths notwithstanding slower growth in China, India and Northeast Asia.

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