Business opportunities in the in ASEAN region
Asia, with its with its vast land area spread through all climate zones from tropical to tundra and whose peoples exhibit an array of cultures more diverse than any other continent is a place of opportunity and challenge for businesspeople of all kinds.
First things first
The main challenges facing a businessperson or organisation intending to enter this vast marketplace is that of compliance with each individual country’s requirements for establishing a business enterprise and regulations affecting business operations. These challenges can be met through the services of a company providing corporate business services in Asia and the best choice would be one with great depth and breadth in doing so.
Ease of doing business
Of the five Asian most highly rated places for ease of doing business according to the World Bank (WB), three are members of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the aims of which are to work towards the establishment if a single market similar to that of the EEC presenting openings for businesses in sectors such as food and beverages, financial services and fintech.
Help for entrepreneurial start-ups in Singapore
Singapore, rated as the easiest Asian country for doing business in by the WB, is seeking to address the economic downturn and unemployment caused by the pandemic with a government sponsored offer of mentorship and a S$50,000 start-up capital grant to first-time entrepreneurial partnerships consisting of a minimum three Singaporeans and/or permanent residents with original business ideas who can put up s$10,000 to qualify for the award. Assistance is also offered in the seeking of talent, investment and loans.
E-shopping in Malaysia
In Malaysia, third in the WB rankings, on-line shopping is a growth area so an e-commerce store is a hot option either from a self-owned platform or selling products through a reputable online superstore. Lazada and Best Buy are two of the most popular in Malaysia.
Bringing down language barriers
The fourth ranked ASEAN country is Thailand and with more and more foreigners doing business in the country there is a growing demand for translation services as important documents such as contracts and other legal documents need to be translated into Thai and vice versa. Meanwhile import-export business is big in Thailand but while English is the main language used for business communications around the world, the general level of English language proficiency in Thailand is not as good as in many other countries. Also, with the growing volume of commerce among ASEAN member states the need arises for translation into other South-East Asian languages. Few companies have proficient in-house translators so have to outsource, often to overseas agencies. There are some translation agencies in Thailand, mainly in Bangkok, but there is room for competition there and the setting up of agencies in other big cities.
ASEAN has trade agreements with China and the EEC, both of which open up opportunities for businesses in ASEAN member nations, China, and Europe.