Trade Opportunities in Asia

Exporting to Asia is also becoming more straightforward – making it a more appealing proposition for UK businesses. The fast-improving infrastructure in many Asian countries, coupled with the cheap warehousing and logistical costs mean that it’s becoming more feasible to trade there. The lower cost of labour in Asia also allows western businesses to operate in these markets at a reduced cost – minimising the risk normally associated with entering a new export market.

Adoption of IFRS and Corporate governance codes by many countries across Asia is also making the process easier.

There are big differences between the different regions in Asia though, so it’s worth taking a close look at the potential of specific nations and areas for individual businesses and sectors. Essentially, Asia is made up of fifty countries, categorised as five major markets – namely China, the Indian Subcontinent, ASEAN countries, the Middle-east(GCC) and East Asia.

  • China has immense potential for British businesses. The UK already has a good image there for trade and education relationships.
  • India has a population almost equal to that of China but a GDP growth rate of over 7.5% – which is almost double that of China.
  • East Asia is a large and wealthy society with high consumption rates. Japan is the world’s third largest economy and already considers the UK an ally, based on long-standing cultural and economic ties. Korea has one of the world’s fastest growing economies – larger than Russia’s, with a third of the population.
  • The ASEAN Region– the Association of South-East Asian Nations, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia – has a combined population of 640 million people and an economy worth over $2.8 trillion, with increasingly open internal trade. Of the ten members of ASEAN, four are former British colonies and three of those are members of the Commonwealth. Its aggregate economy is forecast to grow this year and next by five percent. The ASEAN region is fast changing from a low-cost manufacturing destination to a pillar of strength of Asian GDP. This area also is a major trade route for global business. The process of regional cooperation and integration is already evident there.