Now, next and how for business
Southeast Asian businesses are amongst the most confident in the world. Businesses are getting ahead of the game by expanding into new markets and focusing on sustainability as a way to grow sales.

Be better, informed

Businesses in ASEAN are optimistic about the future, with 81% projecting growth in the next year. Longer-term, businesses are even more bullish. 33% of ASEAN firms are expecting to be ‘high-growth’ – that is, they are anticipating growth of 15% or more over the next five years – a sentiment shared by only 26% of firms globally.

Highlights Strong optimism paves the way to long-term growth

Trading with Asia-Pacific remains crucial

74% of ASEAN firms consider markets in APAC among their top 3 most important trading partners.

Vietnam (cited by 32% of ASEAN firms) and Singapore (31%) are considered by businesses globally to be gateways into markets across APAC.

The future of sustainability

76% of ASEAN companies believe they have a role to play in delivering the UN’s SDGs, compared with 63% of firms globally. 33% of ASEAN firms say investments in sustainable infrastructure development is the most relevant SDG for their business (more than other regions globally).

Protectionism and geopolitics

76% of ASEAN companies say they feel an impact from geopolitics, much higher than the global average (64%).

Geopolitics are affecting some industries more than others. 85% of firms in ASEAN in the oil, power and metal industries said they felt an impact. Across agriculture, fishing and forestry 83% cited an impact.

Breakthrough tech

AI is seen by a majority as valuable for improving productivity (55%), the quality of products and services and reducing costs (both 47%).

ASEAN firms believe 5G will help with increasing speed to market (46%), improving productivity (45%) and improving product and service delivery (36%).

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