The ASEAN Economic Community

A Burgeoning Region
with Limitless Potential

The ASEAN workforce is made up of more than 350 million people—the third largest in the world, surpassing that of the United States and the European Union. As a group, it generates around $2.4 trillion in GDP, making it a top 10 global economy.

An important hub of production and trade, Southeast Asia is located at the crossroads of commerce, where over a third of global seaborne trade passes through the region’s maritime routes. Many of the largest multinational corporations are headquartered in its strategic area, catering to a massive consumer base—combined, Southeast Asia has a population of more than 630 million people. And they are all positioned for success; companies headquartered in emerging markets will make up more than 45% of the Fortune 500 by 2025, according to a study.

Collaboration in Communication

Because the region is so diverse, entering businesses must have a comprehensive knowledge of the communication landscape—its nuances, unique traits, and cultural aspects—in order to thrive. Collaborating with partners who know the ins and outs of their respective environments will be crucial for newcomers as they will encounter challenges in localization.

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A Rapidly Evolving Digital Economy

Becoming the World’s Center of Technology

With 700 million mobile connections and 3.8 million new online users every month, the ASEAN region is on the fast track to digital advancement. It has the fastest growing internet market in the world, and it’s predicted to hit $240 billion in 2025. Online travel, e-commerce, online media, and ride-sharing have all seen unprecedented growth. Investors have confidently looked to start-ups in the area, raising $9.1 billion in only half a year.

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Forwarding Digital in Southeast Asia

While Southeast Asian nations are at different stages in terms of infrastructure and adoption, the development and progress of digital capabilities continues to be a focal point for all. ASEAN governments have welcomed this change with open arms, initiating efforts to increase online shopping, electronic payments, and e-commerce in general.

More and more, we see technology shaping Southeast Asia’s media landscape. Businesses must then adapt and take advantage. People in the region are now always-on, and to reach them, brands need to embrace online strategies and implement digital campaigns that are tailor-made for the local audience.