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Which Countries Have the Most Economic Influence in Southeast Asia?

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See this visualization first on the Voronoi app.

A bar chart depicting the countries/ regions identified by respondents as having the greatest economic influence in Southeast Asia.

Countries With the Most Economic Influence in Southeast Asia

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

This chart visualizes the results of a 2024 survey conducted by the ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute.

Nearly 2,000 respondents from 10 countries were asked to select which country/region they believe has the most influential economic power in Southeast Asia.

The countries surveyed are all member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a political and economic union of 10 countries in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia Perceptions: Who’s Got Economic Influence?

Across all ASEAN nations, China is regarded as the region’s most influential economic power.

Laos and Thailand had the highest share of respondents picking China, at 78% and 71% respectively. As the report points out, China is Laos’ largest foreign investor as well as its top export market.

Country🇨🇳 China🌏 ASEAN🇺🇸 U.S.
🇧🇳 Brunei64%18%8%
🇰🇭 Cambodia60%11%20%
🇮🇩 Indonesia54%28%8%
🇱🇦 Laos78%8%8%
🇲🇾 Malaysia67%17%9%
🇲🇲 Myanmar60%7%20%
🇵🇭 Philippines31%26%28%
🇸🇬 Singapore60%15%21%
🇹🇭 Thailand71%9%11%
🇻🇳 Vietnam53%29%11%

Note: Percentages are rounded.

Other ASEAN countries usually score highly as well, along with the United States.

It’s only in the Philippines, where China (31%), the U.S. (28%) and ASEAN (26%) were perceived as having a similar amount of influence.

ASEAN, Japan, and the EU

Filipinos also rated Japan’s economic influence the highest (9%) compared to those surveyed in other ASEAN countries. In 2023, the Southeast Asian bloc celebrated 50 years of friendship with Japan, marking it as one of their most important “dialogue partners.”

Country🇯🇵 Japan🇪🇺 EU🌐 Other
🇧🇳 Brunei3%1%7%
🇰🇭 Cambodia1%5%3%
🇮🇩 Indonesia5%1%3%
🇱🇦 Laos1%4%1%
🇲🇾 Malaysia4%0%2%
🇲🇲 Myanmar6%6%2%
🇵🇭 Philippines9%4%3%
🇸🇬 Singapore3%0%2%
🇹🇭 Thailand3%4%4%
🇻🇳 Vietnam3%3%2%

Note: Percentages are rounded. Other countries include: Australia, South Korea, India, and the UK.

The EU also received single-percentage responses, its highest share coming from Myanmar (6%), Cambodia (5%), and Laos (4%).

Finally, the report contrasted China’s robust economic influence with concerns about its growing impact in the region. Respondents from Vietnam (88%), Myanmar (88%), and Thailand (80%) had the highest levels of concern, despite their countries’ strong trade ties with China.

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The World’s Largest Economies: Comparing the U.S. and China

How do the world’s two largest economies compare? We look at the economies of U.S. and China across GDP, stock markets, and FDI.

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Comparing the Economies of U.S. and China in 3 Key Metrics

This was originally posted on our Voronoi app. Download the app for free on iOS or Android and discover incredible data-driven charts from a variety of trusted sources.

In this graphic, we provide insight into the world’s two biggest economies by comparing them across three key metrics: GDP, equity market valuation, and foreign direct investment (FDI).

Starting with GDP, we used 2024 estimates from the latest edition of the IMF’s World Economic Outlook (April 2024):

CountryGDP (% of total)GDP (USD billions)
🇺🇸 U.S.26.3$28,780
🇨🇳 China16.9$18,530
🌍 Rest of World56.8$62,220

Based on these figures, the United States and China combine for a massive 43.2% share of the global economy.

It’s also interesting to note that America’s share of global GDP has actually been increasing in recent years, from a low of 21.1% in 2011. This is partly due to its relatively strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Equity Market Valuation

The U.S. dominates when it comes to stock market valuation, accounting for 61% of the global total as of Feb. 29, 2024. These figures are based on each country’s share of the S&P Global BMI, which is a broad coverage index, including large, mid, and small-cap stocks from developed and emerging markets.

Country% of Global Market Cap
🇺🇸 U.S.61.0
🇨🇳 China2.8
🌍 Rest of World36.2

The massive disparity in equity market valuations between the U.S. and China is a result of differences in many factors, including market maturity, corporate governance, and international participation.

In terms of country rankings within the S&P Global BMI, China is the fourth largest (behind Japan and the UK).

Foreign Direct Investment

FDI is an investment made by a firm or individual in one country into business interests located in another country. This type of investment can be very beneficial because it can create jobs and enhance economic growth. The FDI figures in this graphic were sourced from fDi Intelligence, and represent cumulative FDI stock from 1990 to 2022.

Country% of Global FDIFDI (current USD)
🇺🇸 U.S.23.7$10.5T
🇨🇳 China8.6$3.8T
🌍 Rest of World67.7$30.0T

The U.S. and China are first and second in terms of cumulative FDI stock. Attracting FDI is one area where China has performed very strongly in recent years.

For example, in 2012, China had attracted $950 billion in FDI, good enough for sixth place. As of 2022, China’s total had grown to $3.8 trillion, a testament to its attractiveness to global businesses, even in the face of regulatory challenges and geopolitical tensions.

Learn More About the Global Economy From Visual Capitalist

If you enjoyed this graphic, check out this graphic ranking the world’s biggest stock markets by country.

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