ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
FT Confidential Research

Southeast Asia's foreign debt spirals

High levels of borrowing a concern for six nations in region

Laos' President Bounnhang Vorachith (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) before a bilateral meeting at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing last year    © Reuters

Six Southeast Asian countries, led by Laos, have much higher external debt levels than the developing world average, sparking concern that the region may be heading for a debt crisis.

Laos has the highest level of external debt to gross national income in Southeast Asia at 93.1 percent, compared with an average of 26 percent for all developing countries, according to an analysis of World Bank data by FT Confidential Research. Malaysia, Cambodia and Vietnam have the next highest debt ratios in the region, according to the study.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Discover the all new Nikkei Asia app

  • Take your reading anywhere with offline reading functions
  • Never miss a story with breaking news alerts
  • Customize your reading experience

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more