Is this the right time to start a business in the Asean region ?
We keep hearing this question and we want to give you an answer in this article with supporting thoughts. Yes, ASEAN is definitely a good place to do the business and you will find out why in this article.
While most of the western countries are developed and have reached a sort of stagnated economy, ASEAN is the developing and the happening place and there is so much of scope to expand and grow here. The Asian Economic Community starts in 2014 and will mean that there are going to be some amazing opportunities.
Advantages in doing business in ASEAN
- Everybody will concur that Singapore is one of the best countries in the world for doing business because of its location and its economy. And, it has been the hub or the centre for all businesses for quite some time. Other countries in ASEAN are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. And, this is because the economies here support the business expansion and have improved their business regulations.
- This business regulation improvement includes the ease with which the business can enter and exit along with some improved tax administration. This is only going to get better with free trade and labour agreements when the AEC takes effect in 2015.
- These countries have a favourable business climate which is better suited for the entrepreneurs to build up their own businesses. As the AEC will result in reinvestment in their own communities, it will lead to creation of more jobs here. Countries such as Thailand are developing rapidly, infrastructures improving and business booming. This will only get bigger and betterover the next few years.
- There are not many financing constraints here and the borrowing cost is also quite low which makes investments quite lucrative. However, if you have the capital up front,then the rapid economic growth can also lead to impressive returns.
- Other important factors include small but nevertheless critical things such as getting the electricity and permits for doing construction. In Asia, this is normally easier and far more affordable than the costs of Western countries like the UK and USA.
- These countries provide free trade agreements which enable the exports from these countries to other countries quite easily. This will only broaden with the AEC, providing easy access to huge markets.
Compared to the advantages, the disadvantages are very few, but should be mentioned.
- The only main drawback could be that the potential of the ASEAN market could reach its saturation point (personally I wouldn’t expect this to happen for 20+ years or so). However, with so many developing economies nearby, this is unlikely to be an issue for an entrepreneur.
- The Trans-Pacific Partnership, which might affect the free trade agreements. However, this should be more than counter balanced by the increased internal and international business of the joining members of the AEC.
- There are some challenges that are faced by developing countries and these include corruption and difficult custom laws. This can be problematic, but can also sometimes make things easier. Everywhere has this, it just might be more obvious in Asia.
Considering the various advantages that we have listed out here, it would be good for most businesses to look into doing business in ASEAN and the AEC. But, don’t wait too long, opportunities are being grabbed all the time, get in while the market is fresh and about to open up even wider.
For more detailed overview on the ASEAN Opportunities, read more here.
As Startup Specialists we have used our knowledge and experience to set up a free portal of frank, accurate information. Do check out www.startupinthailand.com for more details on doing business in Thailand or for a free startup consultation. We operate as a single source for your business operations in Thailand/Asia with our Thailand Market Entry Services and we specialize in Startups | Representations | Regional Business Development | Virtual Offices | Liaison Services. Check out your options here.