Dear Members

Thank you to all members who participated in the inaugural AUSTRALIAN BUSINESS IN ASEAN SURVEY 2016 which was a joint initiative, led by AustCham Singapore, of all the Australian business chambers in ASEAN.

Below, the survey’s conclusion is reproduced:

The inaugural Australian Business in ASEAN Survey 2016 is a snapshot that shows an Australian business community that is thriving across South East Asia. The survey’s results show that despite there being challenges in some markets in 2015, the extraordinary opportunities in ASEAN and offered by the AEC have led to 60 per cent of companies in the region expanding their trade and investment over the past two years, with an overwhelming 86 per cent planning further expansion in the medium term. This expansion is driven primarily by access to the rapidly emerging middle class consumers of the ASEAN region and the prospect of even greater regional integration.

Companies who make up the Australian business community in ASEAN are primarily in services, with professional services firms alone accounting for one-quarter of businesses in the region. Many businesses have vast experience in the region, being present for more than 20 years, although 13 per cent commenced operations in that country in the last two years. While greater regional integration is a key driver for the majority of the Australian business community in the region, challenges remain. Lack of access to skilled labour, corruption, and barriers to trade and investment are the key challenges for governments of the region to address in the eyes of respondents.

Additionally, only a third of firms have addressed ASEAN integration in their business strategy, with a majority expressing a need for more information on ASEAN integration and its effects.

With the great potential for growth through the ASEAN region Australian business is well positioned to be a key part off this extraordinary opportunity.

Thank you again to all AusCham Vietnam Members who contributed.

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