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Southeast Asia preferred expansion location by Australian firms – Regus

Veronica C. Silva | Sept. 16, 2011
Stability, investor climate are among reasons why region is favourable.

Southeast Asia has recently become the preferred destination for expansion by Australian companies, according to a study by Regus.

The study involving more than 800 business leaders in Australia showed that 58 percent of respondents prefer the region for their company's expansion plans. This is true for both large and small companies, although the study noted a rise in interest among smaller companies. Compared to larger companies, 31 percent of which expressed interest in expanding in Southeast Asia, 36 percent of smaller companies said they are eyeing Southeast Asia more this year than last year.

"The Australian economy has proved itself reliable and resilient over the past few years, but local businesses are now looking to take advantage of huge opportunities in Southeast Asian markets. As a result, today we ourselves have more Australian customers in Singapore than we do in the United States or the United Kingdom, and more in the Philippines than in China or Hong Kong," said William Willems, regional vice president, ANZ and Southeast Asia, Regus. 

Political stability and investor-friendly climate were some of the top reasons why Singapore topped the list among Southeast Asian countries. Other favourites include the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Vietnam for various reasons.

Market potential

Indonesia is also attractive because of its large population and its proximity to Australia, said David Thomas, CEO, Think Global Consulting.

"Indonesia, which has the fourth largest population in the world, will be an important market for Australian businesses in the future," said Thomas. "Australian businesses offering high quality services, from education, tourism and financial/professional services to design, innovation and technology, are in high demand in Southeast Asia."

An Australian business which has set up an office in Singapore also noted that the financial infrastructure of Singapore is another factor which attracts businessmen.

"In choosing a location to commence your business, you must ensure that the place is conducive to business and also very liveable. Singapore definitely fits this environment. A stable and pro-active government, SME-friendly policies, a banking system supportive of SMEs, wide availability of capable staff, reasonable office rental rates and competitive tax rates are other factors which make Singapore a very attractive place for Australian companies to do business," said Australian citizen Brian Ahern, who started Maglink International, which specialises in data storage products.

As a provider of workplace solutions, Regus has experienced for themselves an increase in demand from Australia companies for their services among its 150 locations in the Asia Pacific region.


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