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Chips and cars power ASEAN exports beyond pre-COVID levels

Mounting pandemic in the region threatens to undermine the turnaround

Shipping containers stand at a port in Bangkok. Thailand's exports in June jumped 44% from a year earlier.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Exports from Southeast Asia have surpassed pre-pandemic levels, thanks to the economic recoveries in the U.S. and China lifting demand for the region's products..

Thailand, Vietnam and three other major economies in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations reported exports in June that exceeded the numbers seen in June 2019. One of the biggest drivers of this phenomenon is the insatiable appetite for semiconductors amid the global chip shortage.

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