What is ASEAN
ASEAN is the short form of the Association of Southeast Asian Nation, comprising of 10 countries including Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, Brunei, Laos & Cambodia to promotes Pan-Asianism and intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational and socio-cultural integration among its members and Asian states.
Robust Market: ASEAN’s market more than 900 million people or 9% of the population in the world. The combined income per capita in the region for the past 6 years has been rising and reached an average of US$3,600.
Active Consumers: ASEAN’s consumer market at present is at US$1.2 trillion which exceeds that of India (US$938 billion) and South Korea (US$590 billion) and compares favorably with Brazil (US$1.8 trillion) and Russia (US$1.3 trillion). One of the world’s largest market research reported that “consumers in Southeast Asia spent some US$ 8.75 billion on almost 29 million smartphones within the last 12 months, translating to 61% and 78% growth in volume and value”, respectively. In terms of basic mobile phones, consumers across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, and the Philippines, bought a total of 118 million units!
Growing Middle Class: ASEAN countries have a growing number of middle-income families who strengthen the demands for a wide range of products. The region has made significant progress in reducing the poverty rate. The average headcount poverty ratio (living on less than US$1.25 per day) in Southeast Asia fell from 50 percent to 22 percent between 1990 and 2009.
Why Invest in Malaysia?
Malaysia is in the middle of ASEAN and can be a direct reach of over 600 million people. Malaysia airport registered with 89 million passenger movement in Malaysia, connect nearly 170,000 and moved a total 480,000 kg of cargo and mail. KLIA now has ranks among the top 25 busiest airports in the world and top 15 busiest for international traffic.
Business Friendly Environment:
Malaysia rated the world’s #1 in obtaining business credit. It is easy to incorporate the company and the process of incorporation can be done within 1 week. Furthermore, Malaysia also ranked 4th in the world in protecting investors against misuse of corporate assets for personal gain.
Malaysia employees are ranked #3 in terms of pay to productivity ratio compares to the countries around the world. Besides, Malaysia is also ranked 4th out of 59 economies in business efficiency – outperforming established nations from Europe and the Asian Pacific.
Malaysia is ranked 10th in terms of financial attractiveness compared to other countries in Asia Pacific.
Diversity is strength in a country of 32 million people – where different ethnic groups come together to work as one. Most of the people in Malaysia can communicate well in English as well as Mandarin and some other languages which make it easy for communication.
Why Invest in Vietnam?
Located in the center of ASEAN, close to the major markets in Asia, the most notable neighbor of them being China. Besides, it’s long coastline can be direct access to the world’s main shipping routes give perfect conditions for trading.
Ease of doing business:
Doing business in Vietnam has become more transparent after numerous amendments to their regulations. It ranked 82 out of 190 countries in terms of ease of doing business.
Vietnam has signed numerous trade agreements to make the market more liberal. Some of the memberships and agreements are:
Member of ASEAN and ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA)
Member of World Trade Organisation (WTO)
Bilateral Trade Agreement (BTA) with the US
Free Trade Agreement with the European Union (comes into effect in 2018)
Openness to foreign investment:
Vietnam government offers several incentives to foreign investors who invest in certain geographical areas or sectors of special interest.
These incentives include:
Lower corporate income tax rate or exemption from the tax
Exemption from import duty, e.g on raw materials
Reduction of or exemption from land rental or land use tax
Competitive labor costs:
Vietnam is still a country with low labor cost despite the yearly increase of minimum wage. Wages in Vietnam remain less than half of the wages in China.
With over 95 million of residents, Vietnam ranks as the 14th largest population in the world, and is forecast to grow to 105 million by 2030. Together with a growing population, the middle class of Vietnam is increasing faster than any other ASEAN nation. According to Worldometers, the median age in Vietnam is 30.8 years and estimated 60% of Vietnamese are under age of 35, the workforce is young and large; the country also invests more money in education than other developing countries.
Why Invest in Thailand?
Gateway to Asia:
Thailand serves as a gateway to Southeast Asia and the Greater Mekong sub-region, where newly emerging markets offer great business potential. From Thailand, it is convenient to trade with China, India and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has a cumulative population of more than 500 million.
Welcoming Thai government:
Producing crops has been the primary source of livelihood in Thailand. It is only in the recent past when industries have developed and the government is welcoming foreigners to invest in the Thai economy. Through the Board of Investment (BOI), the government offers various tax incentives schemes to its investors.
Social and Political Stability:
Thailand is a welcoming Buddhist country; some even call them as country of smile. The country’s form of government constitutional monarchy allows democratic processes and reforms, and is balanced by the Thai people’s peace-loving nature, high reverence for the Thai Monarchy, and devotion to the teachings of Buddhism. While the vast majority of the people in Thailand are Buddhist, all religions are welcome, and His Majesty the King is the patron of all religions.
The country’s well-defined investment policies focus on liberalization and encourage free trade. The government is actively promoting the foreign investments, especially those that contribute to the development of skills, technology and innovation. Thailand consistently ranks among the most attractive investment locations in international surveys, and a 2006 World Bank report indicated that Thailand was the 4th easiest country in Asia in which to do business, and the 20th easiest in the world.
Thailand has good, improved and modernized transportation facilities, as well as upgraded communications and IT networks, ensure optimum business and living conditions. State-of-the-art industrial estates boast sophisticated facilities and superior services.
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