Asia is NOT a SINGLE market

Lately there were numerous enquiries made by foreign Companies wanting to gain market entry into Malaysia. When Companies made such enquiries, I believe they are not only “eyeing” Malaysia but the region as well.

Asia is indeed the fastest growing market economy of the world. It is also touted as an increasingly important engine of growth. It is estimated that by 2030, Asia’s economy will be larger than that of the United States and European Union combined with the region’s share of world GDP swelling from a little under 30% closer to more than 40%. China is expected to grow 7.5% in 2013, while India is forecast to show 5.5% growth - way below levels both countries are used to. The growth rate in other Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand are expected to range between 2.7% and 6.8%.

Asia is not homogenous economically and culturally. It is characterised by a wealth of socio-cultural diversity with ethnicity, languages, religious values and practices. Its business practice, corporate governance, ethics, attitudes and behaviours are also different from the west. Foreign Company, especially from the west, must understand that each country is sovereign, independent and governed differently. Each country is also at different pace of development and growth. Asia does not, and is not “one big homogenous business bloc”!

For any Company wanting to gain regional advantage, the key success factor is to understand Asia and to cultivate and strategically leverage local partnerships. Collaborative business partnership, creating new sources of value for Companies, customers and communities and building new value networks, resources for innovations and growth opportunities are the motivation and incentives for business success.
Thus there is complexity in cross-border trading and business growth within Asia.

Data source: IMF Survey, Reuters Economic Report, July 2013

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