New patterns of trade in Asia-Pacific

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Products and services tailored to Asian consumers.

The US still holds significant opportunities for Asia-Pacific exporters willing to make the journey.

The rise of the middle class in Asia’s rapid-growth markets will result in a growing demand for Asia-tailored products. What impact will this have on regional and global trade?

  • Consumer spending will grow faster in Asia’s rapid growth markets than in advanced economies. Our forecasts suggest that Asia-Pacific rapid growth markets will see their share of global consumption rise from under 14% in 2010 to almost 25% by 2020.
  • In rapid growth markets, markets for many consumer goods are reaching “takeoff points,” where rising per capita income generates a more-than-proportionate increase in market size. Demand for consumer durables is set to boom.
  • The tastes and preferences of Asian consumers will increasingly determine the rules of the global marketplace.

Growth potential in intra-regional trade

Asia-Pacific rapid growth markets will continue to play a key role in global trade. What are the trade route potentials and relative growth rates for the next 10 years outside of the region?

  • The capabilities of Asia-Pacific economies will become increasingly complementary, enabling every country to thrive.
  • For most Asia-Pacific economies, trade with Africa and the Middle East will grow faster in the next 10 years than trade to the Eurozone.
  • Our forecasts suggest India to be the fastest-growing trade route for almost every economy in the region.
  • The US will remain the single largest growth opportunity for Asia’s Rapid Growth Markets.

Information and communication technology

The rising demand for products and services tailored to Asian consumers will have a diverse impact on intra-regional trade and market sectors. Every rapid growth market has its own unique characteristics that create market sector specialization.

  • Goods trade will predominantly be in machinery and transport equipment. Information and communication technology (ICT) equipment will account for most of the growth, although South Korea’s shipbuilding industry will also expand rapidly.
  • Exports of lower value-added products, including clothes and shoes, will also continue to increase.
  • Service exporters will seek to satisfy fast-growing demand within Asia-Pacific.
  • Regional companies will need to align and integrate a strong talent management approach with their business performance.

For a more in depth look at this topic, please download the full PDF report.


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