Why the World Bank sees limited impact of Brexit on Asian economies
The World Bank raised its 2016 economic growth forecast for developing East Asian and Pacific economies and said Brexit is not likely to have any significant near-term impact on their growth.
The World Bank’s new expectation has the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region, which includes China, billed for 6.4 percent growth in 2016 and 6.2 percent in 2017. Its previous forecast was for 6.3 percent in 2016 and 6.2 percent the next year.
The World Bank, in its latest East Asia and Pacific Economic Update report, said: "Growth in the region is expected to remain broadly resilient during 2016-2018.
"In Thailand, growth will recover gradually to 3.3 percent in 2018, reflecting the effects of increased public investment, improving consumer confidence, and continued expansion in services including tourism,"
Britain will trigger Article 50 in March 2017 – the move required in order to formally bring about the country’s separation from the European Union.
The World Bank stated that Brexit is not likely to have a substantial impact on East Asia and the Pacific in the short-term. This, it said, is due to the region's limited direct trade and financial links with the UK.
According to its data, the UK accounts for less than 2 percent of total exports across most of developing East Asia and Pacific, and accounts for a limited share of total foreign direct investment flows to the region.
The World Bank report also said: "In the medium term, Brexit will imply a renegotiation of developing EAP's trade and investment agreements with the United Kingdom, and may also affect their trade relations with the European Union."
Timeline: India takes unicorn leap with six in five days
We chart an historic week in India’s tech industry, where in just five days, between 5-9 April 2021, the country achieved six new unicorns, bringing India’s total to 10 in 2021 to date, an immense unicorn leap from just seven in 2020 and six in 2019.
April 5: Meesho
India’s first social commerce unicorn, Meesho raised US$300m from SoftBank, Facebook and Shunwei Capital, giving the Bangalore-based startup a US$2.1bn valuation, a threefold jump from its previous funding round in 2019. Founded in 2015 by two IIT-Delhi graduates, Meesho connects producers and resellers, helping small businesses sell through social media. It has 45m customers and has enabled 13m entrepreneurs to start their online businesses with no investment.
April 6: CRED
Founded just over two years ago, Bangalore-based credit card repayment app CRED raised US$215m from Falcon Edge Capital and Coatue, nearly trebling its valuation to US$2.2bn from its January US$80m round. Allowing customers to pay off their credit card debt while earning CRED coins which they cash in for rewards, CRED has grown rapidly during COVID-19, doubling its customer base to nearly 6 million in a year.
April 7: API Holdings / Groww
The first epharmacy startup to gain unicorn status, PharmEasy (API Holdings), which has digitised 60,000 brick and mortar pharmacies and 400 doctors across India, raised US$350m in a round led by Prosus Ventures. Founded by four former Flipkart employees as a way of making investing simple, investment platform Groww became India’s second-youngest fintech unicorn, raising US$83m in Series D funding led by Tiger Global, quadrupling its previous round in September.
April 8: ShareChat
New Delhi-grown social media startup ShareChat, founded in 2016 by Mohalla Tech raised US$502m from Lightspeed Ventures, Tiger Global, Twitter and Snap taking its raised total over six rounds to US$766m and pushing its valuation to US$2.1bn. The funding will be used to grow its user base and short video platform Moj, which launched in 2020 following TikTok’s ban in India. The regional language startup claims 280m users.
April 9: Gupshup
AI-led conversational message startup joined the unicorn club after raising US$100m from Tiger Global giving it a ten-fold valuation of US$1.4bn. The smart messaging platform, which has seen accelerated growth during the pandemic, was founded in Bangalore in 2005 by serial entrepreneur Beerud Sheth, whose online freelancing platform Elance is now listed. Gupshup’s API enables 100,000+ businesses to build messaging and conversation experiences across 30+ communication channels.