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Economy

ASEAN is looking good, but now looking up to China and India

Even with solid growth through 2050, region will still be dwarfed by two giants

Massive traffic jams like this are a daily occurrence in Jakarta. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

TOKYO The first 50 years of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations should be regarded as an overall success, but its future is anything but certain. Sandwiched between China and India, ASEAN could find itself overwhelmed economically by these two Asian giants.

According to international consultancy PwC, the aggregate gross domestic product at purchasing power parity of five major ASEAN economies -- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam -- will reach $22.6 trillion in 2050, or 3.5 times more than 2016's $6.5 trillion. However, the 2050 figure is far below that of China and India, estimated at $58.5 trillion and $44.1 trillion, respectively.

By 2050, PwC projects that China will be the largest economy in the world, with India second and Indonesia fourth. Even within ASEAN, member countries are expected to face major growth gaps, as Indonesia will likely outpace the others. The growing disparities may cast a shadow over the region's delicate balance of power.

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