By: Vasundhara Rastogi
Thailand offers great investment potential as a leading automotive production base in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – a fast developing region for automotive manufacturing. Over a period of 50 years, the country has developed from an assembler of auto components into a top automotive manufacturing and export hub.
With shipments bound for more than 100 countries, Thailand is the 13th largest automotive parts exporter and the sixth largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in the world, and the largest in ASEAN. By 2020, Thailand aims to manufacture over 3500000 units of vehicles to become one of the top performers in the global automotive market.
By Dezan Shira & Associates
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim majority country. Over 88 percent of Indonesia’s population is Muslim, and the country is well positioned to be a hub for Halal products in Southeast Asia.
Supporting this projection are Indonesia’s favorable demographics, rising disposable incomes, and growing consumer awareness on their religious obligations.
Indonesia is also keen to make its Halal industry attractive for investors. The government recently passed industry regulations and has earmarked new sites for the development of Halal industrial clusters.
By Dezan Shira & Associates
Editor: Rohini Singh
In a long-awaited move, Myanmar’s government recently permitted seven of the 13 foreign banks operating in Myanmar to provide export-financing services. This puts the foreign banks at par with their local counterparts, and provides additional options for local businesses to access credit at more competitive rates.
The decision is a welcome development as Myanmar’s banking system has been highly restrictive for foreign players. Besides providing export financing services, the select foreign banks will be allowed to extend credit to foreign businesses as well as local banks.
While foreign banks may cooperate with local lenders to offer additional services, they will continue to be prohibited from pursuing retail operations, such as opening of saving accounts, local money transfers, and extending loans in local currency.
Overall, Myanmar’s banking sector is in its formative stages of development – bank loans in the nation of 51 million comprise a mere 19 percent of its GDP, far below other emerging economies like Vietnam (36 percent) and Cambodia (108 percent).
Edited by Maria Kotova
Translated by Veronika Petruleva
Филиппины показали сильный экономический рост в течение последнего года, и, как ожидается, в ближайшие годы он будет расти на 6,5-7 процентов в год. Учитывая большие экономические перспективы, иностранным компаниям разумно изучить возможности ведения бизнеса в этой стране.
Манила, столица и главный город Филиппин, предлагает множество возможностей для бизнеса в отраслях, от производства до информационных технологий (ИТ) и финансовых услуг. В этой статье мы предлагаем краткий обзор инвестиционного климата города.
By Bradley Dunseith
Stretching eastwards from Myanmar through Thailand and Cambodia to Vietnam, the Southern Economic Corridor (SEC) aims to further integrate the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by improving connectivity and trade. In Cambodia, new clusters are growing around border towns and in existing industrial hubs along the route of the SEC. Foreign businesses are investing in Cambodia, benefiting from both the country’s cheap labor pool as well as the improved connectivity brought on by the SEC.
SEC: a snapshot
The SEC is one of the many development projects initiated in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The GMS is a natural economic area loosely connected by the Mekong River – the 12th longest river in the world. The GMS spans an area of 2.6 million square kilometers and a total population of 339 million people, as of 2015. In 2015, trade within the GMS amounted to US$444 billion.
By: Koushan Das
Established over 50 years ago, Thailand’s automotive sector has developed into the biggest automotive hub in Southeast Asia and one of the largest in the world. As of 2016, Thailand stands as the 13th largest automotive manufacturer in the world. The country offers a dual advantage in terms of a large domestic market as well as an established automotive cluster of component suppliers. The industry accounts for nearly 12 percent of Thailand’s GDP and employs more than 500,000 people including the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEMs) and Tier 1, 2, and 3 suppliers. Japanese OEMs hold 85 percent market share while the US OEMs account for the remaining 15 percent.
By Alexander Chipman Koty
About 133.6 billion pieces of rubber gloves – 63 percent of the world total – came from Malaysia in 2016, as the Southeast Asian nation has carved a niche in the industry. Exports were worth an estimated RM 14.3 billion, continuing the country’s streak as the world leader in rubber glove production for over two decades running. 2016’s revenues represent 14 percent growth over the RM 12.1 billion accumulated in 2015.
The global rubber glove industry is expected to maintain strong annual growth of 8 to 10 percent over the coming years, including demand for an estimated 55 billion additional gloves over the next five years, primarily driven by increasing consumption in emerging markets. Malaysia could be the largest beneficiary of this increasing demand, as export revenue from rubber gloves is projected to reach RM 15.2 billion in 2017.
By Harry Handley
Southeast Asia is one of the four key target regions for international expansion in the consumer foodservice industry for 2017, according to Euromonitor research. ASEAN boasts a well-developed food culture, as well as a consumer preference for dining-out and a young, curious, and experimental population.
To support the development of the region’s foodservice industry, the ASEAN secretariat introduced a new food safety policy in 2016. The policy sets out 10 principles aimed at harmonizing food safety regulations and advancing regional integration in the industry. ASEAN leaders hope that a more closely integrated and transparently regulated market will lead to further interest from international companies.
As ASEAN’s foodservice industry gradually becomes more integrated, opportunities for regional expansion are rife. However, catering to local tastes in the foodservice industry is crucial, and though they share commonalities, each Southeast Asian country also boasts their own unique consumer preferences. Consequently, both identifying the preferences of the target market and choosing the appropriate entry model is instrumental to achieving success in the region.
By Harry Handley
In recent years, the Malaysian government has worked tirelessly to achieve their goal of becoming a high-income nation by 2020. Through the government’s Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), a number of key service industries have been heavily promoted and subsidized in order to make this goal become a reality – one of which is e-commerce.
Despite almost 70 percent internet penetration in 2015, only five percent of Malaysian businesses had an online presence. Many leading experts believe that the Malaysian e-commerce market is at an inflection point and may be about to experience a serious boom period. Along with rising incomes, growing smartphone and internet penetration is expected to increase the proportion of online retail spend in Malaysia from 0.5 percent of total retail spending (2014) to five percent by 2020. This makes it an interesting time to assess the state of the market, in terms of government initiatives, consumer trends, incumbent players, and opportunities for foreign firms.
By Mike Vinkenborg
With the government of Myanmar recently passing its new Investment Law, taking effect in April 2017, the country is showing its continued commitment to attracting foreign investment. After reopening its economy in 2012 following several political reforms beginning the year before, Myanmar has been receiving significant increases in foreign direct investment, reaching a high of US$9.5 billion in the 2015/2016 fiscal year ending in March. To put this in perspective, the total amount of FDI added up to only US$329.6 million in 2009/2010, the year before the military ceded power. While oil, gas, and energy remain the sectors with the highest FDI inflows, investments into Myanmar’s manufacturing industry are rapidly gaining traction, having risen from just US$33.2 million to over US$1 billion in the same period, and hitting a high of US$1.8 billion in 2014.
As China strives to move up the value chain and focus more on high-end manufacturing, the country’s wages have risen to the point where many garment manufacturers are looking to invest elsewhere. Cambodia and Vietnam have already established themselves as alternatives, and now Myanmar is bringing a new labor force to the competition. Clothing exports have already gone up from US$337 million in 2010 to US$1.46 billion in 2015. And now that the economic sanctions by the EU and US have been lifted, the Myanmar Garment Manufacturers Association (MGMA) has set a target for exports to increase to US$12 billion by 2020. Doing so would create an estimated 1.25 million new jobs, a sharp increase from the approximately 250,000 people currently working in the garment industry.