Tuesday, 20 September 2011

SOUTHEAST ASIA: Top ten countries in the region based on standard of living.

Here comes a debate in yahoo answers.  A debate that was participated with different nationalities, merely people from Southeast Asia, with comments that are sometimes striking and with unpleasant words. So to end up this  cyber  confrontations I decided to conduct a small research.  The ignition of this debate, is the question of what country is the richest in the region. 

To identify we need to know the standard of living of the people on each country. 

Gross domestic product (GDP) refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced in a country in a given period. GDP per CAPITA  is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living.

GDP= private consumption + gross investment + government spending +  export and imports

Southeast Asia (or Southeastern Asia) is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity.It comprises of countries such as Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as Indochina, comprises Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, and Maritime Southeast Asia, which is analogous to the Malay Archipelago, comprises Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore.

While the region's economy greatly depends on agriculture, manufacturing and services are becoming more important. An emerging market,  Newly industrialized countries include Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines while Singapore and Brunei are affluent developed economies. The rest of Southeast Asia is still heavily dependent on agriculture, but Vietnam is notably making steady progress in developing its industrial sectors. The region notably manufactures textiles, electronic high-tech goods such as microprocessors and heavy industrial products such as automobiles. Reserves of oil are also present in the region.
Stock markets in Southeast Asia have performed better than other bourses in the Asia-Pacific region in 2010, with the Philippines' PSE leading the way with 22 percent growth, followed by Thailand's SET with 21 percent and Indonesia's JKSE with 19 percent.

 Top ten countries in south east Asia

1US$ = 1.26 singapore Dollar
S$1.50  per kilo of  rice 
1 Singapore with the GDP per capita of $ 43,116 as of 2010, with a population of 5,076,700, with the land area of 697 sqkm. Singapore has a highly developed market-based economy, based historically on extended entrepôt trade. Along with Hong Kong, South Korea and Republic of China (Taiwan), Singapore is one of the Four Asian Tigers. The economy depends heavily on exports and refining imported goods, especially in manufacturing, which constituted 27.2% of Singapore's GDP in 2010 and includes significant electronics, petroleum refining, chemicals, mechanical engineering and biomedical sciences sectors. In 2006 Singapore produced about 10% of the world's foundry wafer output.
Singapore is a world leader in several economic areas, it is the world's fourth leading financial center, the world's second biggest casino gambling market, the world's top three oil refining center, the world's largest oil rig producing nation and a major ship repairing nation. The port is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The country is home to more US dollar millionaire households per capita than any other country.The World Bank also praises Singapore as the easiest place in the world to do business  and ranks Singapore as the world's top logistics hub. Lastly, the country is also the world's fourth largest foreign-exchange trading center after London, New York and Tokyo. 

Bandar Seri Begawan Brunei
1US$ = 1.26BN$

BN$ 3.00 per kilo of rice

2.Brunei with the  GDP  per capita of $31,238 as of 2010, with the population of 428,000, with the land area of 5,765 sqkm. This small, wealthy economy is a mixture of foreign and domestic entrepreneurship, government regulation, welfare measures, and village tradition. Crude oil and natural gas production account for nearly half of its GDP. Substantial income from overseas investment supplements income from domestic production. The government provides for all medical services and subsidizes rice and housing. The national airline, Royal Brunei, is trying to make Brunei a hub for international travel between Europe and Australia/New Zealand, and also has services to major Asian destinations. Brunei is increasingly importing from other countries.
Brunei's leaders are very concerned that steadily increased integration in the world economy will undermines internal social cohesion although it became a more prominent player by serving as chairman for the 2000 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. Stated plans include upgrading the labor force, reducing unemployment, strengthening the banking and tourism sectors, and, in general, further widening the economic base.
To achieve its target for food self-sufficiency, Brunei renamed its Brunei Darussalam Rice 1 to Laila Rice during the launch of the "Padi Planting Towards Achieving Self-Sufficiency of Rice Production in Brunei Darussalam" ceremony at the Wasan padi fields in April 2009. In August 2009, the Royal Family reaped the first few Laila padi stalks, after years of multiple attempts to boost local rice production, a goal which was envisioned about half of a century ago. In July 2009 Brunei launched its national halal branding scheme, Brunei Halal, with an aim to export to foreign markets.

Kuala Lumpur
1US$ = 3.11 Malaysian Ringgit
 RM 4 per kilo of rice
3.  Malaysia with the GDP per capita of $8,423 as of 2010, with a population of 28,318,000,with the land area of 329,847sqkm. Malaysia is a relatively open state-oriented and newly industrialized market economy. The state plays a significant but declining role in guiding economic activity through macroeconomic plans. Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5 per cent annually from 1957 to 2005. In the 1970s, the predominantly mining and agricultural-based Malaysian economy began a transition towards a more multi-sector economy. Since the 1980s the industrial sector has led Malaysia's growth. High levels of investment played a significant role in this. The Malaysian economy recovered from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis sooner than neighboring countries.
International trade, facilitated by the adjacent Strait of Malacca shipping route, and manufacturing are key sectors of the country's economy. Malaysia is an exporter of natural and agricultural resources, the most valuable exported resource being petroleum. At one time, it was the largest producer of tin, rubber and palm oil in the world. Manufacturing has a large influence in the country's economy.

1US$ = 30.40 Thai Baht

 20 to 30 baht per kilo of rice.

4. Thailand with the GDP per capita of $4,991 as of 2010,with a population of 67,764,000, with the land area of 513,120sqkm. Thailand is an emerging economy and considered as a newly industrialized country. After enjoying the world's highest growth rate from 1985 to 1996 – averaging 12.4% annually.
Thailand's economy started to recover in 1999, expanding 4.2% and 4.4% in 2000, thanks largely to strong exports. Growth (2.2%) was dampened by the softening of the global economy in 2001, but picked up in the subsequent years owing to strong growth in Asia, a relatively weak baht encouraging exports and increasing domestic spending as a result of several mega projects and incentives of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, known as Thaksinomics. Growth in 2002, 2003 and 2004 was 5–7% annually. Growth in 2005, 2006 and 2007 hovered around 4–5%. Due both to the weakening of the US dollar and an increasingly strong Thai currency, by March 2008, the dollar was hovering around the 33 baht mark.
Thailand exports an increasing value of over $105 billion worth of goods and services annually.  Major exports include Thai rice, textiles and footwear, fishery products, rubber, jewellery, cars, computers and electrical appliances. Thailand is the world's no.1 exporter of rice, exporting more than 6.5 million tons of milled rice annually. Rice is the most important crop in the country. Thailand has the highest percentage of arable land, 27.25%, of any nation in the Greater Mekong Subregion. About 55% of the arable land area is used for rice production.Substantial industries include electric appliances, components, computer parts and cars, while tourism in Thailand makes up about 6% of the economy. Prostitution in Thailand and sex tourism also form a de facto part of the economy. Cultural milieu combined with poverty and the lure of money have caused prostitution and sex tourism in particular to flourish in Thailand. One estimate published in 2003 placed the trade at US$4.3 billion per year or about three percent of the Thai economy.  According to research by Chulalongkorn University on the Thai illegal economy, prostitution in Thailand in the period between 1993 and 1995, made up around 2.7% of the GDP. It is believed that at least 10% of tourist dollars are spent on the sex trade.

1US$ = 8 Indonesian Rupiah
 Rp.5000 per kilo of rice 
5. Indonesia with the GDP per capita of $ 3,015 as of 2010 with a population 240,271,522, with the land area 1,904,569sqkm. Indonesia has a mixed economy in which both the private sector and government play significant roles. The country is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and a member of the G-20 major economies.  The industry sector is the economy's largest and accounts for 46.4% of GDP (2010), this is followed by services (37.1%) and agriculture (16.5%). However, since 2010, service sector has employed more people than other sectors, accounting 48.9% of the total labor force, this has been followed by agriculture (38.3%) and industry (12.8%).[98] Agriculture, however, had been the country's largest employer for centuries. According to World Trade Organization data, Indonesia was the 27th biggest exporting country in the world in 2010, moving up three places from a year before. Indonesia's main export markets (2009) are Japan (17.28%), Singapore (11.29%), the United States (10.81%), and China (7.62%). The country has extensive natural resources, including crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper, and gold. Indonesia's major imports include machinery and equipment, chemicals, fuels, and foodstuffs. And the country's major export commodities include oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, rubber, and textiles.

I don't know why 1Php = 206.37 Indonesian Rupiah...please comment below if you know

1US$ = 43.47 Philppine Peso
40 pesos per Kilo of rice
6. Philippines with the GDP per capita of $2,007 as of 2010, with the population of 91,983,000, with the land area of 300,000sqkm. The national economy of the Philippines is the 46th largest in the world. Exports include semiconductors and electronic products, transport equipment, garments, copper products, petroleum products, coconut oil, and fruits. Major trading partners include the United States, Japan, China, Singapore, South Korea, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Germany, Taiwan, and Thailand. A newly industrialized country, the Philippine economy has been transitioning from one based on agriculture to one based more on services and manufacturing. Of the country's total labor force of around 38.1 million, the agricultural sector employs close to 32% but contributes to only about 13.8% of GDP. The industrial sector employs around 13.7% of the workforce and accounts for 30% of GDP. Meanwhile the 46.5% of workers involved in the services sector are responsible for 56.2% of GDP. After World War II, the country was for a time regarded as the second wealthiest in East Asia, next only to Japan.  Now the economy is heavily reliant on remittances which surpass foreign direct investment as a source of foreign currency. Regional development is uneven with Luzon—Metro Manila in particular—gaining most of the new economic growth at the expense of the other regions, although the government has taken steps to distribute economic growth by promoting investment in other areas of the country. Despite constraints, service industries such as tourism and business process outsourcing have been identified as areas with some of the best opportunities for growth for the country.

 1 US $ = 19,500 Dong

Dong 5,200-5,300 per kilo of rice

7. Vietnam with the GDP per capita of $ 1,168 as of 2011, with the population of 88,069,000, with the land area of 331,210sqkm. Historically, Vietnam has been an agricultural civilization based on wet rice cultivating. The Vietnam War destroyed much of the country's economy. Upon taking power, the Government created a planned economy for the nation.In 1986, the Sixth Party Congress introduced significant economic reforms with free market economy elements as part of a broad economic reform package called "đổi mới" (Renovation), resulting in a Socialist-oriented market economy. Private ownership was encouraged in industries, commerce and agriculture. Saigon River Port
Vietnam achieved around 8% annual GDP growth from 1990 to 1997 and continued at around 7% from 2000 to 2005, making it one of the world's fastest growing economies. Growth by 8.5 percent, 6.3, 5.3 and 6.8 for the year of 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 respectively, but inflation rate hit 11.8 percent in December 2010 on a year-on-year basis, according to a GSO estimate. The dong has been devalued three times since late last year. Before 1998, foreign investment grew threefold and domestic savings quintupled. Manufacturing, information technology and high-tech industries form a large and fast-growing part of the national economy. Vietnam is a relative newcomer to the oil business, but today it is the third-largest oil producer in Southeast Asia with output of 400,000 barrels per day (64,000 m3/d). Vietnam is one of Asia's most open economies: two-way trade is around 160% of GDP, more than twice the ratio for China and over four times India's.

1 US $ = 8,020.00 Kip
 7000-9000 kip per kilo of rice
8. Laos with the GDP per capita of $ 984 as of 2010, with the population of 6,320,000, with the land area of 236,800sqkm. The Lao economy depends heavily on investment and trade with its neighbours, Thailand, Vietnam, and, especially in the north, China. Pakxe has also experienced growth based on cross-border trade with Thailand and Vietnam. In 2011, the Lao Securities Exchange began trading.
Subsistence agriculture still accounts for half of the GDP and provides 80 percent of employment. Only 4.01 percent of the country is arable land, and 0.34 percent used as permanent crop land, the lowest percentage in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Rice dominates agriculture, with about 80 percent of the arable land area used for growing rice.  Approximately 77 percent of Lao farm households are self-sufficient in rice.Laos is rich in mineral resources but imports petroleum and gas. Metallurgy is an important industry, and the government hopes to attract foreign investment to develop the substantial deposits of coal, gold, bauxite, tin, copper and other valuable metals. In addition, the country's plentiful water resources and mountainous terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric energy. Of the potential capacity of approximately 18,000 megawatts, around 8,000 megawatts have been committed for exporting to Thailand and Vietnam.
The country's most widely recognised product may well be Beerlao which is exported to a number of countries including neighbours Cambodia and Vietnam. It is produced by the Lao Brewery Company.

Phnom Penh City
1 US $ = 4,114.45 Cambodian Riel
 1,800 riel per kilo of rice

9. Cambodia with the GDP per capita of $ 813, as of 2010, with the population of 14,805,000, with the land area of 181,035sqkm. Most rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors. Rice, fish, timber, garments and rubber are Cambodia's major exports. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the Philippines. These varieties had been collected in the 1960s.
Based on the Economist, IMF: Annual average GDP growth for the period 2001–2010 was 7.7% making it one of the world's top ten countries with the highest annual average GDP growth. Tourism was Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with arrivals increasing from 219,000 in 1997 to 2 million in 2007. In 2004, inflation was at 1.7% and exports at $1.6 billion US$.
China is Cambodia's biggest source of foreign direct investment in the kingdom. China plans to spend $8 billion in 360 projects in the first seven months of 2011. It is also the largest source of foreign aid, providing about $600 million in 2007 and $260 million in 2008.

as of 2001 1US$ = 6.5972 kyats
     1,750 kyat per kilo of rice
10.Burma (Myanmar) with the GDP per capita of $ 701 as of 2010, with the population of 50,020,000, with the land area of 676,578sqkm. The country is one of the poorest nations in Southeast Asia, suffering from decades of stagnation, mismanagement and isolation. The lack of an educated workforce skilled in modern technology contributes to the growing problems of the economy. The country lacks adequate infrastructure. Goods travel primarily across the Thai border, where most illegal drugs are exported and along the Irrawaddy River. Railways are old and rudimentary, with few repairs since their construction in the late 19th century. Highways are normally unpaved, except in the major cities. Energy shortages are common throughout the country including in Yangon.
Under British administration, Burma was the second-wealthiest country in South-East Asia. It had been the world's largest exporter of rice. Burma also had a wealth of natural and labour resources. It produced 75% of the world's teak and had a highly literate population. The country was believed to be on the fast track to development.
Burma is the worlds biggest exporter of Teak or Tectona grandis is a large, deciduous tree that is dominant in mixed hardwood forests. It has small, fragrant white flowers and papery leaves that are often hairy on the lower surface.

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