Interested in exporting to Southeast Asia?

Do you. like General Electric, see huge opportunities to do more business in the region? Watch this short video with Stuart Dean, GE ASEAN CEO, outlining how to seize the ASEAN opportunities:

The video speaks for itself. ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations,is already a free trade area and will become a common economic community in 2015. The region’s need of infrastructure is tremendous and you will find opportunities in aviation, power, water, railroads, other infrastructure businesses as well as oil and gas. So many, in fact, that General Electric now considers infrastructure to be their second-fastest growing category.

GE more than doubled it's orders in ASEAN the last few years.
GE more than doubled it’s orders in ASEAN the last few years.










Have cooperated with several secretary-generals of the ASEAN Secretariat and have only positive experiences with the organisation. Their unity actually convinced China to come to the negotiating table to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Are you already doing business with Southeast Asia? If so, with what countries? Or are you contemplating exports to the region? Do you agree with Stuart Dean about the opportunities in the area? Are you interested in seizing them? What positive experiences do you have of doing business in the region? Any pitfalls you would advise businesses to be aware of?ย 

Video: McKinsey & Company

34 thoughts on “Interested in exporting to Southeast Asia?

  1. Hi Catarina,

    Interesting video. Many years ago, I worked for a construction management company who had huge contracts doing infrastructure in both the U.S. and other countries (they did one of the Los Angeles Airport [LAX] international terminals and Ivory Coast build out during my tenure there). If I were still there, this would be something on my radar.

    As I am a micro-biz, and so are my clients, I guess we would be more interested in knowing and understanding export to Asia on a smaller scale; specifically, more about products and service opportunities.

  2. Catarina — very interesting video. I have to say I'm not very well informed about ASEAN. With its huge population, the member countries are no doubt ripe for development as GE states in this video with the company's revenue doubling in infrastructure business.The U.S. and Europe are mature markets so it would be natural to turn to developing countries as the next hot markets.
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  3. I was going to say I don’t market to Southeast Asia but then I realized the medical thriller I have before an agent now is partially set in China. That makes sense considering how close it is to the Pacific Northwest and works with the story line but also means people interested in this area of the world would be interested in this book as well.

    1. That's a nice twist to doing business with Southeast Asia, Pat. Even though China isn't part of ASEAN:-) They are since Monday this week the biggest economy in the world. Number two is the United States.

  4. I did find the video of Stuart Dean/GE interesting. It helps that I'm an investor. ๐Ÿ™‚ As for me I haven't heard much about ASEAN in my circles. Regardless, I do think it's great that Asean is seeking to integrate markets. This can only help enhance the world's economy. Just my thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚
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  5. Very interesting post Catarina. I haven't been doing business there for such a ling time….things have changed, as they should. The really are coming into their own and that can bode well for all of us. ASEAN opportunities sound like they are positioned for growth
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  6. Infrastructure is important for the economic growth of countries. I wonder if GE has plans to diversify and use alternative sources of energy as well?
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    1. Hopefully, Christina. But it's really difficult to get Asian countries to use alternative sources of energy for the simple reason that they feel the West didn't have to take that extra cost when they built up their industry.

  7. The only business experience I have with Southeast Asia involves the national news agencies. There was a huge variation in overall quality and sophistication among the agencies in different countries. But as a general rule I found the management at these agencies to be eager to learn and to expand their horizons.

  8. It doesn't come as a surprise to me that infra-structure is big and going to be bigger in the ASEAN region. This area has been developing for a long time but really only recently did a huge portion of the lower class become middle class. They want a better way of life. They see others have it and they want it. Starting with infra-structure.
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  9. Very interesting and informative post , Catarina.
    There are many factors like population , infrastructure etc. (as you have mentioned )that can be involved in growth of any business in ASEAN. It is good that they have made the region as free trade zone. It can be helpful in many ways. With large number and ever increasing rate of population there is increasing need for many things.
    I am much inspired by your posts and the tips you are always sharing to improve business. I sometimes think that I must follow footsteps of my family and jump in business. I am interested in garments (Import , export). Few members of my family have business in China , Malaysia , Japan but I am now wondering why no one has ever thought for Middle East.
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  10. I have not done any business there; I do understand the importance of this area and the potential opportunities. Thanks for sharing this with everyone.

  11. Catarina how uplifting the video message is for the world's economy! Last night I was watching an interview with the CEO of AliBabba. It's an unbelievable success story in China and no doubt, something contributing to the innovation and direction of economic growth. Thanks for providing a bright spot in the day in case of anyone thinking things are bad.

    1. Glad you liked it, Pat. The world economy really needs companies all over the world to start working globally. No wonder the Alibaba CEO is one of the richest men in the world. China's population is almost a billion and a half.

  12. I like that GE thinks of the 10 countries individually as well as just a region. I'm always interested in aviation and like the hub (or spider as he put it) setup which is so convenient. Building infrastructure is key to creating ASEAN opportunity. Another interesting article, Catarina.
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    1. Thank you, Beth. Ever since ASEAN was founded in 1990, the member countries are doing well on an individual basis but cooperation benefits them. A bit like the United States of America:-)

  13. I found the video with Stuart Dean of GE very interesting. I had no idea there was so much infrastructure development going on and it sounds like this will only expand. I can see where there would be tremendous opportunity for business – even small ones – as support to the infrastructure development.

  14. Interesting post, Catarina. I've not done business in the ASEAN region, but I think there are some interesting parallels with Africa: fast population growth, need for infrastructure development, new oil/gas finds, and so on. Africa could certainly learn from ASEAN's approach of making the region a Free Trade Zone in order to encourage development: after all, the population of the continent is already around 1.2 Billion and forecast to double to 2.4 Billion people by 2050. That's a lot of opportunity!

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