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Earnings gloom aside, Asia Inc. is positioned for growth

Regional growth outlook is good and M&A appetite remains strong

KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei deputy editor | China

HONG KONG -- Don't start fretting just yet. Even though Asia's leading companies are set to log their first back-to-back drop in aggregate annual net profit since the Asian financial crisis, there are plenty of reasons to believe corporate Asia is still on a growth track.

For one, the region's macroeconomic prospects remain solid. The International Monetary Fund's latest forecast shows that emerging and developing Asia -- including China, India and five Southeast Asian countries -- will grow 6.4% this year and 6.3% next year, faster than anywhere else in the world. Looking at the longer term, the Asian Development Bank projects baseline annualized growth of 5.3% until 2030 for the Asia-Pacific region.

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