Emerging Markets: Focus on South-East Asia

Webinar posted by William Barns-Graham, on behalf of Open to Export

In this webinar Ross Hunter (the executive director of UK-ASEAN Business Council), Amita Krishna (the Project Director of the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce) and Wai-Kit Ho (the Business Director of British Business Group Vietnam) talk about the opportunities, key considerations and in market support available to grow your business in Asian markets such as Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The Key points:

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and UK-ASEAN Business Council (UKABC) focus on stimulating an economic pipeline between British business and southeast Asia. They are useful resources you should draw upon when exporting there.

The ASEAN Economic Community is a highly economically competitive community with lots of potential. The current median age of ASEAN is 26 years old and 65% of its population will qualify as middle class.

Be aware of organisations and laws, get legal advice and contact UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Intellectual Property Office for useful information on intellectual property and insurance.

UKABC can help by connecting your business with local business experts, providing start up support, helping build your market share and growing your regional presence.

When dealing in Southeast Asia remember, relationships are important because one-off deals are unlikely. Do your homework and invest time and money because results will not be immediate. And talk to local experts who have a rich knowledge of the local market.

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Questions and Answers

Here are some of the questions and answers addressed in this webinar, the times have been listed.

What is the best way to identify regulations and requirements for food in Southeast Asia? (38:27)

You can send the export codes to the market in advance, outlining what the products are. This usually stops any unexpected surprises, however, in most cases British products are usually well received.

What are the opportunities in the Southeast Asian market? Are there difference in internet structure and rules and regulations? (39:47)

There is a young population and as a result social media is very popular. There are 36 million internet subscribers in Southeast Asia so there is a large market for ecommerce. When selling skin care or food products it is recommended to get them halal certified in order to broaden the market.

What are the practical implications of corruption practices such as bribery? (42:50)

If you break the law you will go to jail, it necessary to have the same attitude towards the law in these countries as you would in your own country. It is recommended that businesses seek legal advice before beginning their business transaction.

When selling B2B, is there a marked difference when selling to expats compared to locally owned businesses? (44:28)

It varies from country to country but usually there is a marked difference. It is recommended you have a strong understanding of the local culture if dealing with locally owned businesses and you should seek guidance with the UKABC in order to choose the right business partner.

Should smaller companies attempt to enter these markets and can organisations help them find and potentially win contracts from local retailers and distributors? (45:35)

You should analyse your business and decide whether you are ready to export. UKABC can help and has previously helped businesses with a small number of personnel.

Do you have one final tip about business culture? (49:37)

When meeting potential business partners, you will be expected to go out to dinner and eat a lot. This a normal part of Southeast Asian business culture.