ASEAN Fact #1: 75% of GDP is located in 25% of provinces

ASEAN’s 80/20

Wealth in Southeast Asia remains highly concentrated. If ASEAN’s five major emerging markets (the ASEAN-5) Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam were assumed to be one big country and their provinces in this imaginary mega-nation were compared to each other, you would find that 75% of the GDP of the entire region is located in less than just 25% of the provinces. 

(See map below; color-codes are to provide reference to countries which are comparable in size in terms of GDP as of 2011.)


Moreover, some of the largest provinces on an absolute GDP basis are also some of the richest provinces on a per capita basis (2011), making these the ideal spots for both investments and commercial expansion.

What This Means for Executives

As the region matures and companies increase their focus, executives need to conduct in-depth provincial analysis in order to understand where the demand side opportunities lie and where there is the ideal supply side support. Click here to see the map of the manufacturing hotspots in ASEAN, which follows a similar 80/20 distribution to that of GDP and consumption. Depending on the province, companies will have to adopt different tactics to access the end customers, who are likely to have varying consumption patterns as a function of their source of wealth. (FSG’s clients can find the in-depth analysis on this topic here.)

FSG’s Seven Crucial (Less Talked About) Facts about ASEAN

This update is Part One of a seven-part series of quick insights that I will be publishing over the next few weeks on the ASEAN region (see full list here). These have been selected carefully based on FSG’s numerous interactions with regional executives. I will discuss the topics which have proven to have high importance for senior executives of western multinational companies and ones with a lack of coverage in the business spheres. Next week’s update: manufacturing as the key to wealth creation in ASEAN for years to come.

FSG clients can access my full report and in-depth analysis on the client portal. Not a client? Contact us for more information.


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