China, Philippines, and Kenya top list for 2015 fastest growing economies

BloombergBusiness reports on the world’s 20 fastest growing economies for 2015. While overall global growth is projected to be 3.2 percent this year, emerging markets in Asia and Africa will grow exceptionally for the next two years.

According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg, China, the Philippines, Kenya, and Indonesia together will make up 16 percent of the global gross domestic product. They are all expected to grow more than 5 percent in 2015.

By comparison, the US and UK which combined make up about 25 percent of global GDP will grow 3.1 and 2.6 percent respectively.

2015 Global Economy

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Chinese Investment in U.S. Doubles to $14 Billion in 2013

“Chinese investment in the United States doubled in 2013, driven by large-scale acquisitions in food, energy and real estate,” write analysts Thilo Hanemann and Cassie Gao in “Chinese FDI in the U.S.: 2013 Recap and 2014 Outlook,” released on Jan. 7.

“We expect Chinese interest in U.S. assets to remain strong in 2014 because of aggressive economic reforms in China, a more liberal policy environment for Chinese outbound investors, and a positive outlook for the U.S. economy.”

Whereas state-owned companies have dominated in total deal value in the past, that is no longer true. In 2013, more than 70 percent of investment came from private enterprises, responsible for more than 80 percent of a total of 87 deals (of which 44 were acquisitions and another 38 were greenfield projects).

Where is the money going? Unconventional oil and gas was a top draw, with $3.2 billion invested in deals that include CNOOC’s (CEO) purchase of Calgary, Alberta-based Nexen Energy’s U.S. operations, Sinopec’s (SHI) joint venture withChesapeake Energy (CHK) of Oklahoma City, and a Sinochem International(600500:CH) stake in West Texas’s Wolfcamp Shale. Commercial real estate was also a big draw, with 18 investments in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Detroit totaling $1.8 billion. And the single biggest deal: Shuanghui’s (000895:CH)$7.1 billion takeover of pork processor Smithfield.

Chinese companies are also becoming big employers of Americans, says Rhodium, providing more than 70,000 full-time jobs as of the end of last year. That’s an eightfold increase since 2007. Huawei Technologies (002502:CH) and Lenovo(992:HK) are big employers, but just one company—Smithfield—accounted for 37,000 of the total workers at Chinese companies.

A separate report released in early December by private equity fund A Capital found that Chinese investors put $24.7 billion into mergers and acquisitions in all of North America in the just first three-quarters of last year.

Roberts is Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Asia News Editor and China bureau chief.

Country Overview: Singapore Economy

Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Nicky Loh/Bloomberg

Singapore has a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It enjoys a remarkably open and corruption-free environment, stable prices, and a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries. The economy depends heavily on exports, particularly in             consumer electronics, information technology products, pharmaceuticals, and on a growing financial services sector. Real GDP growth averaged 8.6% between 2004 and 2007. The economy contracted 1.0% in 2009 as a result of the global financial crisis, but rebounded 14.8% in 2010, on the strength of renewed exports, before slowing to 4.9% in 2011 and 2.1% in 2012, largely a result of soft demand for exports during the second European recession. Over the longer term, the government hopes to establish a new growth path that focuses on raising productivity, which has sunk to a compound annual growth rate of just 1.8% in the last decade. Singapore has attracted major investments in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production and will continue efforts to establish Singapore as Southeast Asia’s financial and high-tech hub.

The economy will grow 3.5 percent to 4 percent in 2013 and expand as much as 4 percent next year, the trade ministry said in a statement today. It had previously forecast growth of as much as 3.5 percent in 2013. Gross domestic product expanded an annualized 1.3 percent last quarter from the previous three months, compared with a 1 percent decline estimated earlier.

Asian economies are benefiting from a demand pickup aided by the U.S. Federal Reserve’s extension of monetary stimulus even as global risks remain from budgetary wrangling in Washington and a nascent recovery in Europe. Trade-dependent Singapore said today exports will rebound in 2014 after contracting this year, easing pressure on the central bank to allow its currency to weaken to support overseas shipments.

“We are in an expansionary phase even though we should not expect it to be too robust,” said Edward Lee, regional head of research at Standard Chartered Plc in Singapore. “There are pockets of strength in external demand and that is adding to a resilient domestic economy.”

The Singapore dollar has dropped about 2.1 percent against its U.S. counterpart this year. It fell 0.2 percent to S$1.2484 against the greenback as of 9:58 a.m. local time.

sources:, Bloomberg,