Asia round-up: Counting the cost of avian flu
As the world awakes to the possibility of a bird-flu pandemic, analysts at CLSA have assessed the economic implications for Asia of an outbreak. CLSA has compiled an index of relative economic risk based on healthcare expenditures per capita, tourist arrivals per capita and total trade as a proportion of GDP. The results might surprise most readers. Based on these three measures, Hong Kong and Singapore emerge as the economies most at risk, followed by China, Malaysia and Thailand. Despite high spending on healthcare, both Hong Kong and Singapore remain highly exposed to the economic fallout from a pandemic by dint of their high dependence on international trade. Each country also has tourist arrivals roughly twice its population.