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Eclairages Emergents is an aperiodic publication offering a series of articles addressing emerging economies or an emerging region from a variety of angles.
South Korea is gradually returning to its potential growth path. Appropriate economic policy and efficient export-driven industries have helped surmount the 2009 crisis with far fewer problems than in 1997. Demand from emerging market countries and ASEAN has boosted the economy in recent years; Korea should now benefit from the recovery in the United States and Europe, and especially from increased trade with China.
Sub-Saharan Africa's economies have enjoyed strong growth in recent years, with average annual GDP growth of 4.8% since 2007. The countries form the world's second fastest growing region, after South East Asia. Perceptions have changed between 2000, when Africa was considered "the hopeless continent" synonymous with war, famine and AIDS, and today's view of a "Rising Africa" capable of being a future driver of global growth — with rising domestic consumption, foreign direct investment (FDI), and stronger democracies.
Whether down a little in the ASEAN-4 countries or a tad higher in Vietnam, growth in all five countries should again be buoyant in 2013, fuelled by consumption and investment.
What's more, the short-term risks are acceptable overall. There are a number of concerns, however, as regards recent lending trends, short-term foreign debt, Vietnam and its banking systems, the political environment in Thailand, and governance.
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