Eastern promise


Despite global financial chaos, the prosperity of the Tiger economies of south east Asia in the healthcare and electronics sectors continues unabated. Japan’s industrial production is on the rebound from the earthquake, but Taiwan’s trade reach an all-time high in 2010. Integrated circuits, micro-electronics and pharma have become mainstays of China's economy and its growth rate remains one of the highest in Asia. Malaysia has, since independence, had one of the best economic records in Asia, and the country still makes more than 70% of the world’s rubber gloves.

Illustration: Aaron Vohra

The South East Asia region is one of the most dynamic for cleanroom services. Hi-tech and life science investment is at a high and Japan’s industry is recovering fast from the devastating earthquake. Susan Birks reports on future potential for cleanroom suppliers in these markets,

The economic growth in SE Asia has heavily influenced global business strategy in recent decades, with western companies focusing their investment on the Tiger economies (Hong Kong, South Korea, China and Singapore). Neighbouring Japan has had its strong development somewhat curtailed by the massive earthquake, but it is recovering fast.

SE Asia’s relatively cheap, less regulated labour force and growing consumer expenditure make it a promising location for new business, particularly pharma, biotech and healthcare. The semicon, electronics and flat panel sectors are setting up r&d sites for advanced technologies as well as manufacturing facilities for LCDs, LEDs and solar panels. With prosperity comes better healthcare and health reforms. As a result, the region is also seeing new hospitals and rising medical expenditure.

Each country in the region, however, has its specific strengths and weaknesses.

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