Home / Front Page/ ASEAN opportunity and challenge for SL

ASEAN opportunity and challenge for SL

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 12 June 2018 00:56

HSBC Asia Pacific Commercial Banking International Markets head Tim Evans 

– Pic by Daminda Harsha Perera


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) presents a fertile but challenging opportunity for Sri Lankan businesses, HSBC Asia Pacific Commercial Banking International Markets head Tim Evans said yesterday.

Addressing the Daily FT-University of Colombo MBA Alumni Association-organised and HSBC-supported CEOs Forum under the topic ‘ASEAN: Sri Lanka’s Next Big Opportunity’, Evans outlined the opportunities that existed in ASEAN. 

“ASEAN is home to some of the fastest growing economies in Asia and the world. The potential economic and demographic dividend that ASEAN presents is greater when the region is treated as a whole. If you look at the ASEAN consumer, their 650 million inhabitants are an increasingly powerful source of global demand, and potential game changer for companies that are looking for growth in an often uncertain global environment. So for HSBC, building and maintaining trade corridors with ASEAN is a very sensible way of achieving growth. This is why we have Sri Lankan apparel companies expanding their footprint in Myanmar and Indonesia. ASEAN is not an easy market to tap, companies need to tag their business models to the breath-taking diversity of ASEAN. A one-size-fits-all recipe will simply not work.” 

However, he also pointed out the disparity between the different countries, noting that Singapore has a per capita income that is 40 times that of Cambodia, while internet penetration is barely present in countries like Myanmar. The bloc also includes a range of political and regulatory systems, which could be difficult for a business to navigate. 

“ASEAN’s full potential is still not fully appreciated. Yet the region’s economy of $2.6 trillion is already the seventh largest economy of the world, and by 2030 it will be the fourth largest economy in the world. Accenture estimates that annual consumer spending will rise by $2.3 trillion by 2020, which is roughly 80% higher than the 2012 level. The number of middle class households in ASEAN will top 120 million by 2025, roughly double what existed in 2007. I would like to see today as a conversation starter to what ASEAN can really offer all of you. Is it really your next big opportunity. If you believe this, as we at HSBC do, then our in-depth knowledge of the region and our strong presence in Asia will provide you with the expertise required to navigate the opportunities with ASEAN.”

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Warriors who fight for a larger purpose

Friday, 17 August 2018

Are women more naturally inclined to cooperation than men? Sulochana Sigera’s impassioned statement at last week’s Women in Management Awards seemed to suggest so. Addressing the under-representation of women decision-makers, Sigera pointed to th

Do we sink or swim? No Michael, row the boat ashore!

Friday, 17 August 2018

Why Sri Lanka needs to strengthen geopolitical ties to be a competitive global economy by 2030

Sri Lankan people want leaders to be decisive

Friday, 17 August 2018

The different leaders we have seen in Sri Lanka in the last 40 years beginning with JRJ to the current President were very different in their approach to power and authority, based on their cultural values and understandings of the leadership style.

The strategic role of the finance function: The path to relevance

Thursday, 16 August 2018

During my term as Global President of CIMA nearly a decade ago, the theme I chose for my year of leadership was a single word – ‘relevance’. The word relevance is perpetual. It is contextual to when it is used. It is extremely applicable to the

Columnists More