Australian Business Asia (of which AusCham is a founding Member) has just launched the 2017 issue of the Australian Business in ASEAN Survey in Singapore (27 July 2017). Among the survey’s findings is that “for firms seeking to expand, Vietnam is now the most popular destination overtaking Myanmar with Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand also sought after markets for expansion”.

  • To download the original and complete survey, click here.

A copy of the Executive Summary has been reproduced below.

Australian businesses continue to provide a strong contribution across ASEAN and are generally positive about their ability to prosper in the region. The second iteration of the Australian Business in ASEAN Survey revealed that while the challenges remain, firms continue to enter the region and many are actively planning to enter new markets in the next few years to respond to the opportunities inherent in ASEAN’s emergence building on the decades of experience that the Australian business community has in the region.

While Australian business operations in the region continue to be dominated by services firms, there remains some diversity with property, construction and infrastructure and manufacturing making the top five industries represented. It appears that many of the micro and small businesses have grown in the region with a greater proportion of medium sized firms in this year’s survey, although the Australian business community still comes in all shapes and sizes. These firms continue to maintain strong links with with more than half having Australian ownership and more than 70 per cent who have ownership or heritage.

The strategic location of ASEAN nations is strongly recognised by firms operating in the region with almost a third utilising operations as their global headquarters. A further third have established broader regional headquarters in the region.

For firms seeking to expand, Vietnam is now the most popular destination overtaking Myanmar with Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand also sought after markets for expansion. Improvement in infrastructure has overtaken regional integration as the second most important reason for expanding in the region. However, more than 60 per cent of firms continue to identify the growing consumer class as a primary motivation. the potential for business conduct conflicts is now seen as the major challenge of operating in the region, with barriers to ownership and investment and lack of access to skilled labour rounding out the top three.

Download the survey results

To download the full survey results, click here.

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