Southeast Asia’s economy will overtake Japan’s by 2025, according to the latest prediction from Singapore’s United Overseas Bank (UOB).

The bank projects that even at an average growth rate of two-thirds of the pace between 2001-2013, the combined economy of the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) would pass 4 trillion USD in 2020 and 9 trillion USD in 2030, which means that ASEAN will surpass the UK in 2020 and Japan in 2025.

UOB’s economic expert Suan Teck Kin said China’s increasing economic prominence and next year’s establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will provide new catalysts for the bloc’s economic growth.

Additionally, ASEAN will become one of the world fastest growing consumer markets with the expansion of the middle class across the region. This, together with AEC’s commitment to a unite market and production base, would also strengthen ASEAN’s place in the international economy.

ASEAN’s contribution to global trade is projected to rise from 6.7 percent of last year to nearly 8 percent in 2030, while market shares of other regions, for example the Euro zone, are being narrowed.-VNA