First Step to Doing Business in Asian Countries? Get Familiar with ASEAN Economic Community

Pull out the thesaurus and look up synonyms for the word “growth.” That is how Southeast Asia is increasingly described.

- By William Bell

Expanding economies … workforce increase … increasing middle class … expanding domestic consumption … growing trade … These words are music to the ears of businesses looking for new or expanding global opportunities. These are also words used to describe many countries in Southeast Asia. The robust annual growth rates of 5 to 7 percent projected through 2015 for the six countries of Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and the Philippines make the economies in the United States and most of Europe look sluggish.

With so many Southeast Asian nations performing well, it is natural they are attracting foreign business investments if a business could go to a single point of contact and gain an understanding of how to access 10 countries with a population of over 600 million and combined economies worth $2.6 tri...

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