Looming large – the advancing Asian market


Reflecting the positive outlook ahead for the region, Asian gas market revenues continue to grow at a steady increase of 12% – the result is a gases market worth up to $645m and showing signs of further prospects
in future.

A greater sense of peace has spread throughout India and the wider region during the past few years, yet economic growth shows no sign of relaxing and investment in the region looks set to explode in the coming months and years. India is now said to be the second fastest growing major economy in the world after China and industrial production contributes around a fifth of India’s economic expansion. The country’s finance minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, is quoted as having said, “…About 83% of the economy is going to grow between 9% and 10%.”

Similarly, investment in neighbouring Bangladesh could be geared-up for a rise in the near future as company’s look to exploit the potential the country affords and the falling cost of investment to be found there, as publicised by a recently conducted survey.

The survey conducted by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) reported that Bangladesh has emerged as ‘the cheapest place’ in Asia for investment, in terms of 9 cost components including legal minimum wages and charges of utility services. If opportunities to invest in the country are as optimistic as suggested, the gases market could expect to see further rises in revenues as company’s and organisations clamour to get involved.
Revenues from the industrial gas business in Bangladesh had fallen 16% to $28m in 2005, a slump that had been justified by the rough patch experienced by BOC Bangladesh from 2001-2004 and a downturn in the ship-breaking industry. This decline appears to have been arrested in 2006 however, as an increase of 7% characterises a market recovering. Revenues have now reached $30m, made up largely by the packaged gases business in the country and still headed-up by BOC Bangladesh’s leading 60% share of the market.

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