HSBC Navigator surveyed over 1,000 businesses in five of the largest ASEAN markets (Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam). ASEAN is one of the most bullish regions for trade and commercial activity and Navigator gives unique insight into what businesses in this region are thinking now, next and how their businesses will grow and prosper.

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  • 86% of ASEAN firms are positive about their company’s prospects in foreign trade – more than any other trade bloc and higher than global average of 77%.

  • 75% of ASEAN businesses believe that governments are becoming more protectionist in their key export markets – the highest reported of all trade blocs and much greater than the global average of 63%

  • 37% of ASEAN firms are focused on increasing the use of digital and technology within their business (versus 28% globally)

Key findings from the ASEAN report

Companies prepare for the digital age

Firms across the ASEAN bloc remain more positive about the outlook for trade than any other trade bloc and higher than the global average. Investment in digital capabilities and a focus on productivity and skills development are supporting competitiveness and enhancing long-term growth prospects.

 

How your business can respond

  • Are you increasing capacity to accommodate a potential ramp-up in demand as part of any supply chain diversion resulting from international trade tensions?
  • Is your business enhancing its digital capabilities to remain competitive and meet customer expectations?
  • Have you considered using data from connected devices, machines and other assets to manage your supply chain in real time?

86% of ASEAN firms are positive about their company’s prospects in foreign trade


Join the conversation using #HSBCNavigator

Businesses operating in ASEAN markets are overwhelmingly bullish of their commercial prospects and also expect protectionist policies to rise.

This seems counter-intuitive and certainly raises the question of whether they are underestimating the trade risks that come with rising protectionism or are shrewdly seeing opportunity from any trade disruption.

Either way, supply chain diversion is coming ASEAN’s way and business needs to be ready.

HSBC Singapore CEO, Tony Cripps


HSBC's Navigator surveyed 8,650 business decision-makers in 34 markets. Research by Kantar TNS for HSBC August / September 2018