The size and vitality of Asian markets drive economic trends around the world. Even though China’s economy is slowing, growth is still strong, and is forecast to be around 6.5 percent annually. With a large population and rapid growth, India is also a driver of overall trends in the region. Asia is projected to be home to more than half the world’s population by 2050, and Wisconsin now has trade representation in 11 Asian markets.

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Trade between Wisconsin and China has grown substantially over the last decade, and today China is the state’s third-largest trading partner. Societal changes in China will further improve export opportunities for Wisconsin companies. These trends include wider use of machines and technology in manufacturing, improvement of environmental contamination, and growth in low-tech health interventions. The rise of the middle class and urbanization throughout China make it a high-growth market where Wisconsin companies can build on established relationships. Trends in China are driving demand for products and technology. Meanwhile, Wisconsin businesses can also benefit from offshore service contracts for legal, financial and health care work.


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Japan is the world’s fourth-largest economy. It is also the second-largest foreign investor in the U.S., with more than $300 billion invested. Japan’s large government debt (more than 200 percent of GDP), persistent deflation, and aging and shrinking population are major complications for the economy. Tokyo will be hosting the 2020 Summer Olympics, which are expected to create over $283 billion in economic benefits.



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Since its full implementation on March 15, 2012, the U.S.-South Korea free trade agreement has brought gains for both the U.S. and the South Korean economies, helping to increase bilateral trade of goods and services, promoting stronger economic relations in both trade and investment, bolstering small and midsize enterprises, deregulating the market and protecting intellectual property rights. Geographically located at the center of air and maritime transportation networks, South Korea has been enjoying economic growth as the 11th-largest economy in the world. As South Korea moves toward technology-intensive and capital-intensive industries and services, it will be an important market for Wisconsin exporters with state-of-the-art technologies and innovative products and services.


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Singapore is a highly developed and successful free-market economy. It boasts a per capita GDP higher than that of most developed countries, and is remarkably open and corruption-free. Unemployment is very low in this island nation. Singapore has attracted major investment in pharmaceuticals and medical technology production, and will continue efforts to strengthen its position as Southeast Asia’s leading financial and high-tech hub. As the most developed economy in Southeast Asia, Singapore is the trendsetter and the gateway to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) market, a 10-nation economic bloc with a population of over 600 million.


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India is the sixth-largest economy in the world, and one of the fastest-growing. In 2014, its GDP grew by 7.5 percent. Two-thirds percent of India’s population is below 35 years of age. Over 250 million people are considered to be in the middle and upper income classes in India. India presents opportunities across many industries, including water technology and medical devices. The Indian government has launched a “Make in India” program that increases the potential for collaboration with Wisconsin suppliers of industrial machinery and components.


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The views or opinions expressed here are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect those of WEDC. WEDC is not responsible for the contents nor does WEDC guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness or reliability of this information.