Following the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015, Southeast Asia remains poised to become the world’s third largest free-trade bloc, ushering in a host of new economic opportunities for companies with a presence on the ground. Learn how our award-winning cash, treasury, risk and liquidity services can help your business harness the power of this rapidly-growing region.


Opportunities surrounding the ASEAN region

Already an economic force, the ASEAN region looks set to emerge as the world’s third largest economy by 2030, with analysts predicting GDP will more than triple by that time1. An increasingly affluent population with a fast-growing middle class and– not to mention half the population is under 292 – consumer spending is also on the rise and is expected to US$2.3 trillion per annum by 20203. Today, more than 220 leading MNCs are headquartered within the region4, taking advantage of one the 21st century’s most exciting economic opportunities.

The time is now

Now more than ever, leading companies from all over the world are looking to grow their presence in Southeast Asia, eager to take advantage of business opportunities as the region continues to gain economic strength.

  • The birth of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has created US$2.5 trillion with 625 million people, making it the world’s biggest free trade bloc by population and a G7 economy in GDP terms (HSBC research 2015)
  • ASEAN GDP quadrupled in US dollar terms between 2000 and 2015 and ASEAN’s growth opportunity remains huge (HSBC research 2015)
  • ASEAN services exports to China soared 19% year on year in 2015. The lion’s share of ASEAN economic output is in services (HSBC research 2015)
  • A massive 86% of US businesses operating in ASEAN expect to increase current levels of trade and investment in the region over the next five years (ASEAN Business Outlook Survey 2015)
  • ASEAN infrastructure investment is expected to run at US$110 billion per annum in the decade to 2025 (UNCTAD 2015)

    Fast growing trade corridors

    ASEAN markets' connection to some of the world’s fastest growing trade corridors

    ASEAN’s markets connect to some of the world’s fastest-growing trade corridors, facilitating growth for companies not just in the Southeast Asia region, but all over the world.

    The time is now

    According to the World Bank, Southeast Asia’s economies linked a two-way trade universe worth US$20 trillion last year5, and its expected the international flow of goods and services will hit US$85 trillion in 2025, rising from US$28 trillion in 20126. Similarly, ASEAN exports are expected to see a CAGR of 5.5%, ahead of NAFTA's 4.7%, the European Economic Area's 3.5% and the Trans-Pacific Partnership’s economies’ 4.4%7.

    The economies of ASEAN are part of trade liberalisation efforts that are driving a substantial increase in global flows, and full implementation of the AEC reforms expected could add 5% to the bloc’s GDP by 2030. Meanwhile, the Trans-Pacific Partnership could boost trade between member economies by in excess of 10% and raise GDP by 1.1% or more8.

    Trade Forecast Tool

    Find out the current and future insights into world trade dynamics using our interactive Trade Forecast Tool. Explore top trade routes, toggle between imports and exports, and compare trade activity between countries.


    1. HSBC, Global Insights, 2015
    2. ASEAN Secretariat statistics 2015
    3. Accenture ASEAN Consumer Research, 2005
    4. McKinsey, Understanding ASEAN, 2015
    5. World Bank 2015
    6. McKinsey 2015
    7. Oxford Economics 2015
    8. Both sets of statistics from HSBC Research 2015

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