Britain after Brexit: 5 Reasons to Invest in the Asia Pacific (APAC) Region

Date: 24/10/2018
Author: Thomas Cherian - International Trade Team
Company: Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

We live in unprecedented times as Britain continues to seek clarity on the divorce from the European Union (EU). What will post-Brexit Britain look like as we exit the EU, and how will we achieve sustainable growth and remain competitive?

As the British Government strives to find its positioning outside the EU and seeks to re-establish ties with the Commonwealth nations, the Asia Pacific (APAC) region needs to be considered.

The region, has no single currency or free movement of people and has its challenges, but it presents tremendous opportunities for British firms. Whether you are a supporter of Brexit or a remainer - here are 5 reasons why any British firm should consider the Asia Pacific Markets:

  1. Access to half of the world’s population:

Imagine having the opportunity to access half of the world’s population over 34 countries for your brand. The APAC region offers exactly that. It is home to 4.5bn people - average age, 30.  While diverse with various levels of economic growth, the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) constitutes nearly half of world trade.

  1. Positive Growth Rates and GDP:

The APAC region contributes an estimated 60% of global gross domestic product (GDP) and is central to growth of the global economy. Political risk in the region is declining, demonstrated by the recent peaceful transition of power in Malaysia, strengthening socio-economic reform and liberalisation, increasing the long term potential for domestic demand.

  1. Market Access and Established and New Trading Partners:

The UK has established trading partners, including Singapore, Australia. Malaysia, India and Vietnam in the region and plans to maintain continuity with the nations that have existing agreements with the EU. It is likely to seek participation in a wider dialogue for market access for British firms.

  1. The Love for British Brands:

The strong demographics and young aspirational population with a rising middle class with increased purchasing power have a love for British brands. There is a respect for the quality of British goods and services across various sectors including, education, food and beverage, retail, oil and gas, technology and innovation and professional services.

  1. A Phased Market Entry Approach – Start off with ASEAN:

The fastest-growing region of the Association of South East Nations (ASEAN) within APAC hosts 650 million people, with growth rates of over 5%. Malaysia and Singapore are English speaking with British-based legal systems. 22% of ASEAN’s trade with the EU is currently with the UK and the ASEAN countries act as a gateway to the wider region.

The APAC region is poised to become an economic powerhouse which cannot be ignored. As Britain seeks an independent trade policy, and negotiates its departure, the need to strengthen ties with the East is crucial. While Asian companies established operations in the UK to gain access to EU markets will be reassessing their strategies, British firms should so the same and look East.

We have a presence on the ground in Malaysia to serve the region and are only a phone call away. We look forward to welcoming you to Asia.

For more information, contact our team: exportbritain@gmchamber.co.uk