On the 17th of September I wrote about the importance of the up and coming Greater Mekong region. The countries involved being Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos, all members of the ASEAN Free Trade agreement. I reported on how it was becoming self sufficient for oil and gas, it had a young cheap labour force with a total population in excess of 560 million people, and an economy of over 2 trillion dollars. It looked as if it would become the next source of cheap manufactured products for the world and possibly become self sufficient in its own right.
Well since that was written President Obama of the USA and Xi Jinping, the President of China, have both made their first visits to a foreign country (since retaining or gaining office) to this region. Now that must be very significant for future trade and investment. Then last week we have the announcement that the newly elected Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe is also setting out to visit this same region. Now baring in mind that there appears to be a falling out between Japan and its largest trading partner China, then surely this visit must hold a similar significance. So unless these countries get over whelmed by hugs and kisses from these elderly relatives then they must be set fair for the future.
Looking at the numbers coming through from Saltydog on ETFs it is now showing the db X-tracker FTSE Vietnam rising towards the top. In fact this ETF has risen 22% in the last three months with 16% coming through in the last month. This must be connected with all the attention that this region is receiving, and perhaps we are seeing only the very beginning of these fund rises. We will continue to look out for, and report on, other funds heavily invested in this area.