Don’t Overlook the ASEAN Nations

Don’t Overlook the ASEAN Nations

ASEAN commercial opportunities study for Canadian Business

Increasingly, Canada is looking beyond its traditional trading partners towards Asia, in search of new markets for its goods and services. Global attention in recent years has tended to focus on the growth markets of China and India such that opportunities in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) may have been overlooked.

The ASEAN region is experiencing strong economic growth and the emergence of a significant middle class. Opportunities abound across all sectors, ranging from those related to the massive infrastructure development requirements of the region to those that serve to meet the evolving needs of the sizeable domestic business and consumer markets, to finding a place in the Global Supply Chains within which ASEAN is a crucial link.

While ASEAN may not offer the right opportunity for everyone, it is an area that should not be overlooked by Canadian companies planning to expand internationally. The key to success for Canadian SMEs is to identify the niche where their solution best fits and then to focus on where and how to enter the region.

A wealth of resources is available to Canadian companies interested in learning more about the ASEAN region. Canadian Trade Commissioners are based in each market, EDC representatives are available across Canada and in the region, and a number of business and trade associations such as the Canada ASEAN Business Council are in a position to provide guidance and advice.

The Canada ASEAN Business Council recently published a comprehensive report on the opportunities for Canada in this important region of Asia, which provides a timely reassessment of the relative importance of the ASEAN market and the commercial opportunities that it presents for Canadian enterprises. The report considers ASEAN from a regional, rather than a country by country, perspective and presents an overview and introductory guide for Canadian SMEs that may be interested in learning more about ASEAN and the opportunities and challenges it offers.

Some suggestions and considerations for Canadian SMEs wishing to enter the region are included and case studies provide insight and advice from Canadians who have successfully expanded their business to ASEAN. A list of resources and contacts designed to assist companies interested in completing their own market research is included at the end.

Categories Asia & Pacific

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