Why Southeast Asia

Why Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is growing so fast that it's hard to keep up. In the case of the digital economy, GoogleTemasek initially predicted that southeast Asia's digital economy would grow to $200bn by 2025, but in a recent forecast that figure has raised to $300bn. This fully shows that the actual growth is faster than expected. Digitalization will add $1 trillion to the GDP of the 10 Southeast Asian countries over the next decade. Over the past four years, the region has received more than $37 billion in investment in the Internet economy. E-commerce and ride-hailing unicorns have attracted two-thirds of investment  from the region's growing population and strong demand for scientific and technological innovation since 2016.

ASEAN members, along with Australia, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2020. The RCEP is ASEAN's largest free trade agreement to date, covering a market of 2.2 billion people with a total size of US $26.2 trillion, accounting for 30 percent of world GDP. Asean's population tends to be younger and more educated, which will provide an important workforce for ASEAN's future development. The signing of RCEP contracts is of great importance to all countries and will facilitate important domestic regulatory reforms in areas such as labor law enforcement, investment liberalization, cybersecurity protection, cross-border data normalization and intellectual property protection.

Southeast Asia has a total of 650 million of population, Southeast Asia's middle class is expected to triple in size by 2030. Southeast Asia will become the world's fourth largest economy by 2030. Singapore enjoys a strategic position as the window of Southeast Asia, making it the best choice for Chinese enterprises to go abroad. With a sound business environment, strong legal system and support for financial innovation, Singapore is a bridgehead that is well positioned and capable of enabling companies to reach the huge potential and fast-growing market of over 650 million people in Southeast Asia. Many traditional multinational enterprises and Asia-Pacific innovation and technology have ranked ASEAN as the top priority market in the world.

Companies which chose Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is known for its manufacturing industry, and Singapore is the world's fourth largest exporter of high-tech products, with advanced manufacturing as its main focus. Areas covered include electronics, biomedicine, precision engineering and energy. Indonesia is a big country in mineral resources, with significant advantages in agricultural products, mineral products and non-metallic products. Domestic factories manufacture a wide range of products including plastics, textiles, food and drinks, cars, aircraft and electronics. Malaysia is the second largest oil-producing country and natural gas producer in Southeast Asia, with a relatively complete industrial system and certain advantages in mineral products and mechanical and electrical instruments and equipment. Thailand's dominant industries are agricultural products and non-metallic products. The Philippines is mainly strong in electromechanical instruments and equipment. Vietnam has certain comparative advantages in textile and clothing industry, agricultural products and mechanical and electrical instruments and equipment.
While there are huge opportunities for tech companies in Southeast Asia, it is not easy to break into a diverse region of 640 million people who speak hundreds of different languages and dialects. However, it is not impossible. The key is to find the right platform to launch and expand. Singapore is not only the choice of existing investors, but also will be the choice of future investors. For example, 46 percent of the global top 100 companies 13 have chosen to set up their regional headquarters in Singapore. The trend is even more pronounced in the tech sector, where 59 per cent of tech multinationals have a regional headquarters in Singapore. As for future investors - about 15 per cent of Singapore's 4,000-plus tech startups  are multinational upstarts, and more than half of the 11 Southeast Asian unicorns  are headquartered in Singapore or have branched out to Singapore to become a gateway to the Southeast Asian market.

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