Chinese manufacturers are considering Southeast Asian countries as ideal locations for their factories and operations with Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar’s low-cost labor; Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam’s cost-effective business; and Malaysia and Singapore’s high-value manufacturers.
Even more, China and Asean countries complement each other in the production chain, rather than compete with one another. The countries’ attractive policies also serve as incentives to the businessmen.
“Take cotton yarn for instance. The raw materials are processed in Southeast Asia and then repurchased by Chinese businesses,” Chinese chamber’s secretary-general Zhang Xi’an said.
As a result, more Chinese manufacturers are planning of establishing companies in Asean countries. Moreover, Chinese industry players are now planning to visit Asean countries next month to explore more business opportunities.
In the next 10 to 15 years, Asean may become the ‘world’s factory,’ as perceived by economists due to the region’s young workforce and strategic location.
“The policy makers have put the building blocks and framework in place. The call goes out now to companies to make the region a focal point of their growth plan and pursue an Asean-centric strategy,” Maybank Kim Eng Group chief executive officer John Chong said.
“Asean’s time has come. Doing business in this region is no longer about biding your time until suitable opportunities come along, but about being a frontrunner and making your mark on the young, impressionable, up-and-coming Asean consumer,” he added.
Asean is also believed to emerge with a single market with free trades of goods, services and investments.