Investing in ASEAN 2018/19

Published by Allurentis Limited and sponsored by HSBC, this guide will provide readers an overview of the region, specific economic sector profiles on each member country, trade statistics, the benefits and practicalities of doing business in ASEAN and details of business opportunities.
Contact us Download the report


The vision and ambition of ASEAN have brought a whole new era of investment and trade opportunities. “Investing in ASEAN 2018/19” is an invaluable resource, especially for businesses wishing to become involved in the growth prospects within the region.

ASEAN at a glance

In 2017, ASEAN celebrated its 50th anniversary – a significant milestone for the world as the 10 countries grow into an economic force to be reckoned with. The path ahead may bring another 50 years of prosperity if ASEAN can harness its inherent strengths.

ASEAN’s combined GDP is projected to reach

US$4.1 trillion

by 2022

ASEAN Connect 2018

ASEAN 4.0: The future of business

ASEAN Connect 2018 returned with the theme ASEAN 4.0: The future of business. Sponsored by HSBC, ASEAN Connect brought together subject matter experts and business leaders for a one-day forum that was a showcase of expert analysis into the region’s economic roadmap and ASEAN business opportunities. It was especially timely given that Singapore is the ASEAN Chair this year. For more perspectives into the future of ASEAN economy and trade, catch the event highlights below.


ASEAN Connect 2018: The Future of Business

Aired on Channel NewsAsia on 21 March 2018, the single episode discusses and explores how digitalisation will redefine ASEAN ’s economic growth trajectory – especially with Singapore as the ASEAN Chair – and factors businesses should consider while planning their ASEAN strategies.

Opening keynote – Asia in the world economy: Time to shine

Session synopsis:

The rise of the Fourth Industrial Revolution has levelled competition at an unprecedented rate; the rise of East Asia shadowing the increasingly protectionist Western economy, seemingly ushering a new era in the global economy. As the region sets their sight on RCEP and CPTPP trade pacts, how would these alter or propel ASEAN’s business influence in the world trade? How optimistic should ASEAN really be with regards to growth? And what advantages does the strengthening of economic cooperation with more technology-savvy East Asian counterparts, and the rise of the digital economy, have on ASEAN's business landscape over the next 2 years?

Keynote speaker:

Professor Pushan Dutt, Economics & Political Science and Shell Fellow of Economic Transformation, INSEAD

Panel discussion - What will the digitalisation of trade bring to ASEAN's trading business table?

Session synopsis:

China continues to be the largest trading partner of ASEAN with two-way trade recorded at USD452.2 billion in 2016 alone, with Japan and the US following closely at second and third place while intra-ASEAN trade is projected to be a significant driver of the region's forecasted 5.8 per cent economic growth in 2018 and beyond. Alongside Singapore's push towards digitalisation of her wholesale trade sector and Thailand's Eastern Economic Corridor plans, how would the development of the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) further facilitate intra-ASEAN trading business and leapfrog total trade volumes in ASEAN? How will technology change traditional roles in the international trade sector and the skills/talent needed to stay relevant? How are ASEAN businesses riding these waves of change - Where are the growth opportunities?


  • Dr Robert Yap, Chair of ASEAN BAC Singapore & Executive Chairman, YCH Group
  • Inwha Huh, Executive Vice President, Global Head of Structured Trade Solutions, HSBC
  • Jayant Menon, Lead Economist (Trade and Regional Cooperation), Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, ADB
  • Yeo Beng Huay, CIO, Singapore Customs


Professor Annie Koh, Vice President, Office of Business Development & Academic Director, Business Families Institute and International Trading Institute@SMU, Singapore Management University

Panel discussion - Demystifying ASEAN's infrastructure growth opportunities: Where are the bright spots?

Session synopsis:

In the next seven years, infrastructure spending in ASEAN is estimated to hit USD110 billion per annum (UNCTAD 2015). Now more than ever, with a growing demand for regional physical and digital connectivity to power ASEAN’s economic and urban population boom, how should companies prepare and plan for infrastructure amidst technological disruption and shifting global market trends?


  • Lena Ng, Chief Investment Officer, Amata Corporation Public Company Limited
  • James Cameron, Head of Infrastructure and Real Estate Group, Asia Pacific, HSBC
  • Rebecca Konrad, Chief Investment Officer and Lead, Transport & Logistics, Asia & the Pacific, International Finance Corporation


Keoy Soo Earn, Regional Managing Partner, Financial Advisory and Leader, Mergers & Acquisitions, Deloitte Southeast Asia

The Investing in ASEAN 2018/19 Guide (“publication”) was published by Allurentis Limited and ASEAN Connect 2018 event highlights (“videos”) were produced by SingEx Exhibitions Pte Ltd.

The publication and videos are intended for those who access it from within Singapore and is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person or entity in any jurisdiction or country where such distribution or use would be contrary to law or regulation.

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited, Singapore Branch (“HSBC”) makes no representation or warranty (express or implied) of any nature nor is any responsibility of any kind accepted with respect to the completeness or accuracy of any information, projection, representation or warranty (expressed or implied) in, or omission from, this publication and videos. No liability is accepted whatsoever for any direct, indirect or consequential loss (whether arising in contract, tort or otherwise) arising from the use of or reliance on this publication and videos or any information contained herein by the recipient or any third party.
This publication and videos do not constitute an offer or solicitation for, or advice that you should enter into or start using, any of products and services (HSBC’s or otherwise). Recipients should not rely on this publication and videos in making any decisions and they should make their own independent appraisal of and investigations into the information described in this publication and videos. No consideration has been given to the particular business objectives, financial situation or particular needs of any recipient.

No part of this publication and videos may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, on any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise.

You are leaving the HSBC Commercial Banking website.

Please be aware that the external site policies will differ from our website terms and conditions and privacy policy. The next site will open in a new browser window or tab.