Regional head of retail banking and wealth management for Asia Pacific, HSBC
For a sense of what rising affluence in a region of 650 million-plus consumers is all about, consider the soaring passenger volumes at many of Southeast Asia’s airports. Manila handled 41 million last year. That’s double the 2006 number. Passenger numbers at Ho Chi Minh City have more than quadrupled over the same period. Jakarta’s have risen from 37 million in 2009 to 63 million last year.
These are just some manifestations of the rising consumption power of a region that tends to be overshadowed, in the eyes of many businesses and investors, by India and China, its bigger and more populous neighbors.
Spanning countries as diverse as Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore, Southeast Asia is not an easy, one-size-fits-all market to tap. Anyone doing business here has to be prepared to deal with a diverse range of languages, cultu...
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