- Chapter one: China Belt & Road Projects under re-evaluation – how to deal with China?
- Chapter 2: Expanding your business to ASEAN /East Asia? But which country is best suited to establish your Asian office, factory, etc.?
- Chapter 3: What challenges do European SMEs face while establishing sales in Asian.
- Chapter 4: How can European SMEs overcome the challenges they face while establishing sales in Asian markets using distributors? What are the typical key success factors for SMEs in Asia?
- Chapter 5: How are you able to effectively source products from Asia? What is the importance of using sourcing agents?
- Download the article series
Introduction: Doing business in Asia
It is now increasingly common for companies of all sizes to have a strategy for Asia. In aggregate, Asian countries represent one of the largest economies in the world. For companies outside Asia that are seeking to compensate for depressed domestic demand, the growth rates which are potentially achievable in these markets are understandably appealing.
Low labour rates in some Asian markets and high skill levels in others are also a source of interest. Asian countries are also developing distinct specialisations, ranging from call centres in the Philippines, to shoe manufacture in Vietnam, to R&D and finance in Singapore. This facilitates companies taking a strategic approach to Asia and splitting design, manufacture, sales and service across countries in the region.
The activity of China and India is also boosting activity and growth in other Asian countries, as well as potentially allowing companies from other countries to benefit indirectly from Chinese and Indian investment in infrastructure. Southeast Asia is attractive to Chinese investors because of its rich commodity resources, which as China’s activity elsewhere (such as Africa) illustrates, often triggers infrastructure investment. Furthermore, as Chinese domestic labour costs rise and China attempts to move away from low cost to added value manufacturing, the low cost and high availability of labour in certain other Asian countries (such as Vietnam and Cambodia) look particularly interesting.
From the above it is very clear that Asia creates great opportunities for European companies and that it is the time now to capture those and seriously explore the region. There are several topics that are relevant in this respect, being it the effect of China on Europe with the Belt & Road project, choosing the best location for your Asian office or factory, etc. There will be challenges to overcome while establishing sales in Asian Markets. How can European SMEs overcome the challenges they face while establishing sales in Asian markets using distributors? What are the typical key success factors for SMEs in Asia? How are you able to effectively source products from Asia?
These topics have been discussed in a series of articles in 2019, of which this report forms a compilation of those.
Volker Friedrich CEO