Region guide: ASEAN

Asia's economic development is the biggest success story in recent history and has a strong capacity for further growth.

International Festival for Business 2016

Speak to a trade expert

Call us on

0800 78 31 300

Lines are open from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays

Textphone: 18001 08457 125 563

Siew Meng Tan

Regional Head of Global Trade and Receivables Finance Asia, HSBC

Today, seven of the world's 30 most competitive economies and nine UKTI high-growth markets are in Asia. At the centre of the region are the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nation] markets. By 2030 the ASEAN economy is predicted to eclipse Japan's and be the world's fourth largest `single market' after the EU, US and China.

ASEAN is home to more people than Europe, and has the world's third largest labour force. There are some 67m ASEAN consumer households - but this could double by 2025. `Brand Britain' has never been stronger globally and there's real demand for UK products and services across ASEAN.

Top tips

  1. Business cards and handshakes are standard. Exchange business cards by presenting yours with both hands to the other person. Reciprocate by accepting someone else's business card with both hands.
  2. Hong Kong itself is located in the heart of Asia, thus it is not only an attractive export market but can be an important platform to penetrate the Chinese Mainland and South-East Asian markets.
  3. There's real demand for UK products and services across ASEAN. From luxury cars to boutique beers, cutting-edge architecture to world-class animation, UK companies are winning business based on innovation and quality.
  4. Smooth business dealings in Asia are all about courtesy and respect. The tough, direct approach often adopted in the West comes across as too aggressive over here.
  5. Be online or risk missing out. Technology is king here. Asian consumers have consistently shown their willingness to interact with the brands they purchase, so consistency across these channels is very important.

Business dealings in Asia are all about courtesy and respect. The tough, direct approach often adopted in the West comes across as too aggressive.

For further information about trading internationally, visit  the HSBC Connections Lounge at the International Festival of Business in Liverpool where an HSBC Trade Specialist will be on hand to answer your questions or call +44 (0)800 78 31 300.

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