Considering these events on the world’s largest continent, it is easy to get spooked and prematurely conclude that Asia is risky for business. Does the presence of trouble indicate unacceptable market risks?

Truth is, every continent has its own peculiar share of market risks and opportunities. Businesses should not make hasty decisions based on superficial indicators, but instead constantly verify and update market conditions.


Underneath these market rumbles lie evolving business opportunities. Foreign business leaders are advised to take time to concurrently know how to address each Asian country’s technical challenges as well as adaptive challenges by building interpersonal relations with key Asian stakeholders, influencing their beliefs, values and attitudes.

It is easy to forget that, compared to the West, democracy has a relatively shorter history in Asia, which is in the midst of multiple transformations. These include the resurgence of Asian consumerism, capitalising on broken global supply chains with niche components and spares, changes in national political architecture, rising social forces and civil awakening, thus re-distributing power between key state actors.

Before executing market entry or expansion plans, foreign investors should first thoroughly understand the complexity of diverse Asia with its simultaneous triple currents in its middle-class consumerism, business intra-regional trade and evolution of political state governance.

Asia may make louder rumbles than other regions – but it is also one that is sure to grow larger and faster than others.

Lawrence Yeo is CEO of AsiaBIZ Strategy, a Singapore-based consultancy that provides Asia market research and investment/trade promotion services.