What a difference a decade makes. The last time the world economy exited from a recession, in 2010 after the global financial crisis, China’s share of global output was roughly 10%. Today it is around 18%, while its share of world imports today is around 10%, up from about 8% in 2010.

China matters a lot more today: As it moves out of the pandemic ahead of the rest of the world, its economy will outperform and so help to consolidate the global rebound more quickly than we anticipated. There are some risks to this optimistic scenario but they appear to be more long term in nature. The prospects in 2021 for Southeast Asia are therefore likely to be boosted by China’s trajectory.

Near term: fair chance of upside surprise

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