ASEAN UP recently published its 100th resources for business in Southeast Asia! As the project continues to unfold into a (hopefully!) useful platform for businesses and professionals of ASEAN, we would like to take some time to share some views about business in ASEAN and the ASEAN UP project.
Southeast Asian politics, business and economy
Compared to other regions of the world, this year has been marked by a very positive activity in Southeast Asia. Yet various concerns have arisen, especially:
- The Coup d’Etat in Thailand which greatly hurt the nation’s tourism industry, impairing its economic growth for 2014 and casting some doubts about the future of its political system (see news on Thailand).
- Tensions in South China Sea, as China has been making some moves to assert its power there, the reactions in Vietnam have been very negative (see news on Vietnam), and concerns have also been voiced in the Philippines (see news on the Philippines). However, this territorial opposition to China has been a test of solidarity which ultimately draw ASEAN nations closer (see ASEAN news).
- The elections of reformist president Joko Widodo in Indonesia initially stimulated democratic and investors’ sentiment, but he recently got a political setback from an adverse parliament. Some analysts now seem concerned of his real power to reform Indonesia, the economic giant of Southeast Asia (see news on Indonesia).
- The fall in prices of several commodities, which weigh heavily in the revenues of many ASEAN countries, reduces their income from exports and creates internal tensions in the mining and agricultural industries.
- Though they remain optimistic on the region, various business and political leaders, such as Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong or AirAsia’s CEO Tony Fernandes, have expressed doubts that the ASEAN Economic Community – AEC – roadmap will not be entirely completed by December 2015.
Despite these concerns, the outlook for business and economic expansion in Southeast Asia remains overwhelmingly positive for the coming years, as remarked by US companies in ASEAN.
ASEAN is still one of the leading growth region for the world. Even though the realization of the AEC might not be entirely completed by next year, the movement will certainly provide a boost in trade and economic ties between the ASEAN countries.
ASEAN UP’s development
In this rather positive context, ASEAN UP will continue its mission to empower business in Southeast Asia, providing more business resources, news and tools to help companies and professionals to do business in Southeast Asia.
Though ASEAN UP starts to earn some recognition, notably from the Broad College of Business of the University of Michigan or the growing number of quality websites registered in our Southeast Asia business directory, we do not intend to stay where we are.
To develop further, ASEAN UP will try to provide more useful information, such as the recently started identification of Southeast Asian influencers, more ASEAN business news and tools or services that could be useful to the ASEAN business community.
We hope that we will get a positive feedback from the ASEAN business community in our upcoming developments, continue to grow the audience of the ASEAN UP website and our social communities on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook and Google+.
Thank you for your interest! Please share your feedback and ideas with us.
What do you think about ASEAN UP? What part is the most useful to you? How can we empower further the business community of Southeast Asia?