Published 11 April 2017 Category: Compass Tips

Picking the best APAC country to expand or resettle your company

If you want to get started up in APAC (or expand your existing company) but are unsure where to start, assess what your priorities are – whether it’s the spoken language in the region, cost of living or ease of work life. From there, it’s a process of elimination.
 
It’s by no means a full list, but here’s a starter guide to help you prioritize and get you to your destination!  
 
LANGUAGE: If spoken English is your main concern, consider:
Singapore: English is the main language used for conducting business, and it is also the main language in Singapore’s education system. Practically all Singaporeans can speak English, making it easy to get directions on the street or find what you’re looking for at the market, while being immersed in a diversified, multi-cultural environment. Singapore is also extremely friendly to foreign companies, giving many initiatives and incentives for expats to live and work there.  
 
Australia: While you may have to do some cultural adjustments, nothing will change on the language front – aside from picking up a few slang words and abbreviating everything. (See our article “What you need to know before expanding your business to Australia HERE”).
 
COST: If you want low cost of living without sacrificing on quality, consider:
Vietnam: For developed cities like Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi, Vietnam offers incredibly value. It’s possible to get a modern apartment, eat amazing food every night out and hire someone to do your errands, even on the startup dime. There are also thousands of cafes in the city with free Wi-Fi that you can bunk down in or have meetings in.
 
Philippines: With a better public transportation than Indonesia and Vietnam, the Philippines is also a place where costs are relatively low. While safety is a bigger concern in the Philippines more than other parts of Southeast Asia, so long as you are careful and informed, it’s a place where the dollar goes far.
 
TALENT: If you want to expand your staff and find cheap and talented workforce:  
Vietnam: The country’s labor force is growing at more than 1 million people per year, with a low unemployment rate of 2.5 percent.
 
China: With a large number of tech-savvy millennials who think far differently than their parents, China is a great place to find college educated talent – at a fraction of the price it would cost in the West.
 
TECHNOLOGY: If you want to be at the forefront of technology:
Japan: Japan is known for its breakthroughs in technology, such as robots, self-driving cars and knick knacks for everyday life. If you can bear the language and culture barrier, it’s an amazing country to be inspired by.
 
Singapore: Singapore came in number one on Asian Digital Transformation Index, released recently by the Economist Intelligence Unit commissioned by Telstra. The index ranked 11 nations according to their ability to transform themselves. (If you’re wondering, trailing behind Singapore respectively are South Korea, Japan and Hong Kong).
 
If you're looking to expand overseas, talk to one of our Consultant and see how we can help you!