The Asia Pacific Region

The Asia Pacific Region
by Mark Grammer

The economics have improved in each of the Asia Pacific regions recently. Hong Kong, of key importance, has experienced a fast recovery in GDP in the last year. This has been fuelled primarily by private consumption growth, which is expected to contribute 3.2% toward overall GDP of 4.7% in Hong Kong in the next year.

Singapore's economy is growing even faster, and with 65% of its GDP comprised of services, it has benefited from the global shift toward service oriented economies. Korea has seen a tremendous turnaround in the last year, its economic growth chart showing a steep v-shaped recovery. Taiwan, conversely, is one of the weaker Asia Pacific economies, still largely focused on manufacturing, but, on the positive side, possesses some of the best quality manufacturing companies in this sector.

We expect Asia to benefit from the recovery in the region's banking system, which will contribute to overall economic prosperity. The region is also a major beneficiary of the global explosion in technology and telecommunications, whereby the information age has replaced the industrial age as the source of economic growth.

The evolution of the information age will benefit from the development and use of broadband telecommunication technologies, both from a business to business and business to consumer standpoint. The Asian economies are leading edge in many telecommunication technologies, particularly with regard to the subcontracting of electronic components and process engineering. Process engineering is the ability to manufacture a design project efficiently and cost effectively.

Broadband and wireless technology is a key focus in our investment portfolios. Asia has some of the world's strongest companies in these sectors. Our investment selection process will continue to centre around the concept of Q-GARP: Quality and Growth at a Reasonable Price. Asia presents many investment opportunities going forward with the rebound in its economies, its participation in the global technological revolution, and its ability to efficiently manufacture products more cost effectively than any other region of the world.

Mark Grammer is Vice President and Portfolio Manager for Altamira Management Ltd. in Toronto

Transcontinental Media G.P.