May 28, 2024

Expansion Drive amongst Middle East Firms with ASEAN remains optimistic

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Mohamed Salama, Head, Client Coverage, Head, Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking (CCIB), MENA, and Head, CCIB, UAE.

According to a recent survey commissioned by Standard Chartered for its “Borderless Business: Middle East-ASEAN Corridor”, a strategic report that explores high-potential opportunities for cross-border growth in this corridor, the Middle Eastern firms focused on ASEAN territory are optimistic about business growth in the region.

According to the reports, all surveyed Middle East firms expect business growth over the next 12 months, with over 80 percent of them projecting an annual increase in both revenue (82%) and production (81%) over 10 percent. 

The report also revealed that access to the large and growing ASEAN consumer market (60%), access to a global market enabled by a network of Free Trade Agreements (58%), and diversification of production footprint (51%) are regarded as the most important drivers for expansion into the region, according to senior executives of the surveyed Middle East companies.

Mohamed Salama, Head, Client Coverage, Head, Corporate, Commercial & Institutional Banking (CCIB), MENA, and Head, CCIB, UAE, stated: “ASEAN is a fast-growing trade bloc with increasing economic and financial influence. As Middle East countries look to diversify their economies away from oil, regional businesses are exploring new avenues of investments and ASEAN has emerged as the preferred option due to multiple regional and country-level alliances. The region provides unparalleled trade and investment prospects across various sectors such as refinery and petrochemicals, real estate and infrastructure.”

He added: “ASEAN’s focus on becoming future-ready in areas such as digital and renewable energy offers Middle East companies and investment firms ample opportunities to invest, develop and provide solutions to meet their sustainability goals. Given our unique global footprint, Standard Chartered has the right mix of local knowledge and expertise across all ASEAN markets to better help our clients leverage these potential opportunities and strive for continued success.”

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