Deep dive into the dynamics of ASEAN market access and the ASEAN EXPORT program.
On 18 December 2020, Phoenix General by Noutta Group and BRIGHT Indonesia conducted virtual business discussions with business representatives from Finnish and Indonesian companies at “GO ASEAN! Build Your Business in the 660 Million Population Emerging Market” webinar. The event featured discussions on the dynamics of ASEAN market access and the ASEAN EXPORT program as the solution for Finnish companies to enter Indonesia’s digital market.
Primadi Wahyuwidagdo Soerjosoemanto, Co-Founder and Principal Partner of BRIGHT Indonesia and the speaker of the GO ASEAN! Webinar explained that the virtual seminar is important to showcase the prospect of ASEAN’s dynamic markets, specifically Indonesia, as a seriously attractive investment destination for Finnish enterprises.
“With diverse cultural and conomical background, ASEAN presents unlimited opportunities in diverse sectors for small, medium, and large investors from Finland who are in the middle of planning their strategic investment and market expansion agenda in 2021,” said Primadi.
There are three topics of business discussions with Finnish potential companies that include the dynamics of ASEAN market access, the prospect of investing in Indonesia’s digital market, and the ASEAN EXPORT program as the solution for Finnish companies to enter the Indonesian market:
The Dynamics of ASEAN Market Access for Finnish Companies
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) sees the developing economy of country members and consistently exceeds average global GDP growth in recent years. If this progress continues, ASEAN will become the 4th largest economy in the world by 2050. The growing middle-income class population will also add high growth potential and is estimated to reach 335 million by 2030.
In ASEAN, 71% of its urban population produced 86% of the GDP, causing an unequal distribution of skilled workers in rural areas. However, the region still needs the addition of 380 million skilled workers to boost its economic development. Moreover, before the pandemic, ASEAN has reached a 5.5% annual growth rate with a US$9.75 trillion market opportunity in 2019.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into ASEAN’s largest economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines with US$ 128 billion surpassing China at US$ 4 billion more in 2014, an indication of ASEAN’s growing importance. ASEAN brings growth and promises that fortify the growing sense of confidence in long-term prospects, generating a wide range of opportunities for developing and investing businesses.
ASEAN is a region of different markets, varying economic developments, and diverse cultures, that leads Finnish investors to a wide range of opportunities and possibilities. ASEAN is powered by 660 million people, with more than a quarter belong to the youth population, around 10% are children aged 5 years and below, and only 6% are seniors aging above 65 years old. Moreover, there is a rise of ASEAN middle-class members that are educated, technology-oriented, environmentally conscious, and are more aware of saving than spending.
ASEAN people are greatly influenced by the region’s rich history, with various cultural backgrounds, traditions, customs, religious beliefs, innovation, economic progress, and technological sophistication. For instance, each ASEAN country has its official languages and wide-ranging lists of local languages and dialects. However, English is still the official business language that the countries used.
Another unique difference that Finnish investors should consider is how each ASEAN country uses online platforms to communicate. For instance, Indonesians are comfortable using private messaging applications to conduct their businesses. 71% of the population are using it weekly, and emails are not commonly used with only 51% using it weekly. On the other hand, 96% of the Singapore population uses emails as their means of communication weekly and only 67% use private messaging platforms. This data showed that investors should approach different countries respectively to their different work habits and personality.
The Prospect of Investing in Indonesia’s Digital Market
The growing ASEAN market captured modern consumers consisting of Gen Y and Gen Z that are convenience seekers, prefer a green lifestyle, and seek fast and reliable services. This means that there is a long list of possible industries to go into depending on each country’s strengths and needs. The mix of markets is complimentary for investors and there is room for Finnish small, medium, or large enterprises to enter the ASEAN market.
A willingness to invest heavily in technology has been important in the development of digital economies in ASEAN, especially Indonesia. Thus, an integration between ASEAN digital sectors with other countries outside the region will benefit ASEAN countries that are at a lower stage of development. Through transfers of digital technology from developed countries to help them increase the availability of digital services for ASEAN people. However, Finnish investors need to consider cultural integration in technology development as Indonesia is rich in traditions and customs.
Moreover, the Indonesian Embassy in Helsinki has agreed on the Finnpartnership program financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland and Finnfund encourages business partnerships between Indonesian MSMEs and Finnish MSMEs (The Foreign Ministry, Republic of Indonesia, 2020). The program is expected to create a business development ecosystem for Indonesian businesses to compete in the international market, specifically in the Nordic area through the transfer of knowledge and technology from Finland to Indonesia. It aims to increase opportunities for trade cooperation, particularly market penetration for Indonesian export products. This shows that there is a huge prospect for Finnish enterprises to enter the ASEAN market through Indonesia.
It is important to build a necessary groundwork by collecting business intelligence about the respective sector, understanding local business culture, focusing and supporting the Indonesian business, finding access to the Top Decision Makers, and finding the right partner to tackle Indonesian challenges. To ease the market entry process, Phoenix General and BRIGHT Indonesia present the ASEAN EXPORT Program. This program is designed to offer ASEAN market entry services for Finnish enterprises.
The ASEAN Export Program
The ASEAN Export Program is a go-to-market export digital program for Finnish companies. The one-two months program is designed to offer Finnish SME and large companies the ASEAN market entry services. Participants will learn through interactive class discussions, real-life case studies, group exercises, company negotiation, cultural experience, guest speakers, and networking activities that are delivered in English.
The program will be conducted in three phases; Preparation Go-To-Market, and implementation. It will be started in Finland with a pitch practice session one by one with experts in Finland and continue in Singapore and Indonesia consisting digital meetings with pre-qualified potential Clients or Partners. For Finnish companies interested in joining the program, Business Finland Grant can cover 75% of the program’s costs. The benefits of the program are:
Example: 2 month Program structure
Active Webinar week description
- Real Business Lead and pitches
- Real Networking
- Highly experienced in running market programs for startups and SMEs
- Track record — excellent feedback from clients and Program organizers
- Investors will meet, offer, and know about the next steps in Market entry and sales development
- Deep understanding of the local business culture
To apply, Finnish company should directly contact the Program Management Company:
Tel: +358 40 846 56 58
Ivan Kalishevich, Program Director, Finland
Phoenix General Oy
BRIGHT Indonesia as Perfect Partner
The growing ASEAN market captured modern consumers consisting of Gen Y and Gen Z that are convenience seekers, prefer a green lifestyle, and seek fast and reliable services. This means that there is a long list of possible industries to go into depending on each country’s strengths and needs. The mix of markets is complimentary for investors, and there is room for Finnish small, medium, or large enterprises to enter the ASEAN market. However, to enter Indonesia’s digital market, having the right local partner can be really helpful and so important.
BRIGHT Indonesia is a perfect partner for your company. BRIGHT Indonesia will assist you on the ground, including virtual assistant during the mission, logistic arrangement, and communication of every detail. It can make your company focus on developing partnership cooperation without thinking further about the hassle during the business trip.
BRIGHT Indonesia provides several services such as Business Partnership Engagement, Management and Strategy Consulting, and Foreign Direct Investment Promotion services that can help you in expanding and developing your business by identifying potential partners. At the same time, the domain of our strategy consulting services focuses on supporting private sector clients with the development of corporate/business unit strategies and helping public sector organizations with public policy, and also train and assist our clients entering FDI source countries to gather investment for our client’s local markets.
BRIGHT Indonesia always strives to give excellent services designed to fulfill your company’s needs with experiences in assisting multiple global clients in entering Indonesia and Southeast Asia Market. These collaborations are proof of our unrivaled service.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.