,Hong Kong

60% of GBA companies are eyeing ASEAN expansion in 3 years

Expansion plans were greatly expressed by companies from the industrial goods sector.

About 60% of companies in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) are eyeing to expand into the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in the next three years, a study by UOB Hong Kong and ​​Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) revealed.

The key factors cited by companies for diving into ASEAN countries were cost-effectiveness, abundant resources, and huge markets.

Expansion plans were greatly expressed by the industrial goods sector with 6.56 out of 10 companies saying they wish to expand in the ASEAN countries, followed by those in the real estate, hospitality, and construction (6.21); and the business, professional, and financial services sectors (5.71). 

Amongst ASEAN countries, GBA companies prefer Singapore (55.4%), Malaysia (53.0%), and Vietnam (51.1%) as markets for sales, whilst Vietnam (14.5%), Thailand (10.4%), and Indonesia (8.1%) were selected for production or sourcing bases.

The companies are also looking into Hong Kong to help them in their expansion plans particularly in providing more comprehensive information, services, and support (40.9%), doing more in facilitating trade and investment flows with their ASEAN counterparts (39.4%), and formulating policies to open up regional trade and investment further (39.1%).

HKTDC’s Director of Research, Nicholas Kwan, said most of the companies surveyed believe that Hong Kong is an “ ideal two-way platform to facilitate trade and investment between the GBA and ASEAN.”

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