As the deadline for ASEAN 2015 looms, the marketplace is rife with speculation and opinion on whether the member states are prepared. One view which is shared by an overwhelming majority, however, is that the ASEAN region will play an increasingly important role in the global economy in the years to come. And with good reason. The ASEAN region has huge potential for growth in the coming years – Nielsen estimates Southeast Asia’s GDP will grow by close to seven percent per annum over the next decade. The region boasts a population of 600 million, and within this population is a rapidly expanding middle class community who are establishing the financial means to move beyond subsistence living.
The overlying objectives of ASEAN is to remove the complications, risk and inefficiencies out of doing business across the region, to take down the barriers that restrict a more open and competitive landscape where smart, strong businesses can prosper – and workers and consumers share in the benefits.
These changes will mean that organisations will be able to operate within and across the Southeast Asian region in different ways, opening up new efficiencies, options and opportunities. As an economic trade partner for the ASEAN region, Australia is set to benefit from these new trading terms.
But with these opportunities come challenges. For those already doing business in the region, competition will increase in the years ahead as the world’s largest companies turn to Southeast Asia to drive their revenue growth. And as the barriers of doing business are removed, new and unfamiliar competitors will emerge. Conversely, multinational organisations can expect to face competition from Asian giants in markets outside of Asia as they begin to grow and move beyond their traditional markets.
To successfully navigate the complex and unique ASEAN landscape companies will need to be armed with the knowledge and confidence to make swift and informed decisions.
ASEAN 2015 will kick-start and accelerate change across the region and it is important to think ahead and prepare for the future. A sound strategy is imperative, and companies which are able to remain agile, look outside the domestic market and future-proof their local offering will emerge as winners.
Insights contained in this article are taken from Nielsen’s ASEAN 2015: Seeing Around the Corner in a New Asian Landscape Report which focuses on three key areas: the importance of economic, political and consumer change in the region; implications of ASEAN 2015 for businesses; and potential winning strategies.
For more information contact your local Nielsen representative.