In 2018, the world economy remained a mild momentum in growth, with slowdown in driving forces, however. Amid the worsening trade friction at the global level, major economies started to adopt different monetary policies. Meanwhile, international capital flows intensified, the prices of financial markets, energy and other commodities became more volatile, and the international economic situation showed more unsteadiness and uncertainties.
In 2018, on the whole, emerging Asian economies maintained a high growth rate of 6.5 percent, among the highest in the world. Affected by unstable factors, however, the economic growth of most countries slowed. The environment for the development of Asian economies changed, along with changes to the international industrial chain with US as the export market.
In 2018, Asian economies stepped up international cooperation on production capacity to seek mutual benefit. Substantive progress was made in the “One Belt and One Road” and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Rartnership (RCEP). The China-Japan-ROK free trade area negotiation was re-launched. The Comprehensive Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) of high standards came into force.
It marked the ninth year for the assessment of the competitiveness of Asian economies by Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). In addition to dynamic evaluation and ranking of the comprehensive competitiveness of major Asian economies, the report also offers analysis on the specific competitiveness of each economy, their advantages and disadvantages, and dynamic evolution, in terms of commercial and administrative efficiency, infrastructure, overall economic vitality, social development, human capital and innovation capability. A look at the competitiveness ranking over the past 9 years shows that, amid the continuous progress of economic integration, Asian economies have begun to enjoy huge integration dividends; the growth of the Asian economy and the improvement of Asia’s competitiveness have, on the whole, shown a good momentum for steady progress; the stability and resilience of the economic and social development of all economies have demonstrated steady improvement; and the competitiveness gap between them is narrowing, so is the gap between developed and developing economies in Asia. Hopefully, the report will contribute to increasing core competitiveness, greater efforts for common action and development among Asian economies, and the building of a community of shared future for mankind.
My heartfelt thanks must go to those who have long supported this work and contributed their effort and wisdom to this report. Friends from all walks of life are welcome to continue to pay attention to this report and put forward suggestions, so that our efforts will translate into an annual report on Asian competitiveness that is better, broader, and of greater influence. With our concerted efforts, we will make our contributions to enhancing Asia’s competitiveness and building a community of shared future in Asia.