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Asia: International Trade of Motor Vehicles and Components in 2020

This report provides a summary on the international trade of motor vehicles and related parts of eight Asian countries (India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam).

In Asia, the degree of industrial agglomeration varies from country to country. The automobile industry is generating a stable trade surplus in countries which have a well-developed CBU export capability such as South Korea, Thailand and India. On the other hand, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam is facing chronic excess of imports due to low export competitiveness and rising automobile imports. However, as a recent trend, the trade balance has turned to surplus in Indonesia, where the government has strongly requested automobile manufacturers to expand their exports of CBUs (turned into a surplus for two consecutive years in 2019 and 2020). In addition, preferential treatment of locally-made vehicles has been implemented in the Philippines and Vietnam with an aim of eliminating the trade deficit. As a result, demand for localization and expansion of exports in countries with deficits has been increasing, affecting the product supply system of automobile manufacturers.

Regarding imports and exports in 2020, the impact of the spread of the new coronavirus infection was strong. In ASEAN and India, imports of CBUs and parts shrank due to the decrease in production and weakened demand. On the other hand, imports expanded in South Korea and Taiwan due to solid demand, resulting in a decline in trade surplus.

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