2020 was a year of chaos and ambiguity sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also a year when sectors such as fintech, health tech and edtech prospered, even as traditional sectors such as tourism and transport were decimated.
Asia, which bore the brunt of the first wave of the pandemic, has shown surprising resilience, borne out by its performance in the private equity, venture capital and M&A arenas. Green shoots have started to emerge, with China and Vietnam already posting positive GDP growth in the last quarter.
2021 is already shaping up to be a year of rebound and renewal, especially with global COVID-19 vaccinations already being rolled out to limit infections.
What sets SE Asia apart, in particular, is the structural tailwind in its sails, such as a young and vibrant region flanked by an economically dynamic market, growing middle class, sizable smartphone penetration and large untapped potential to adopt digitalisation solutions.
The DealStreetAsia – Research & Analytics team has put together the 10 themes we expect to play out during the year in Southeast Asia. These include:
- A quest for consolidation among the region’s unicorns and soonicorns
- Asia’s regulators take a stronger antitrust stance amid ongoing talks of mergers and acquisitions in the region
- Southeast Asia adopts India’s tried-and-tested unicorn business models
- The SPAC fever rages on and spreads to SE Asia
- Digital banking finds new avenues beyond Singapore
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