Combined, ASEAN forms one of the fastest growing economic powerhouses and is one of the world’s top five economies, behind the US, EU, China and Japan. Find out how HSBC can connect you to opportunities across ASEAN, and beyond.

Connecting businesses to where the growth is

Source: PwC, The Future of ASEAN: Time to Act

What is ASEAN?

At the centre of the Asian region is ASEAN – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, formed in 1967. The association is made up of ten nations: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Lao, Myanmar and Cambodia. During ASEAN’s original inception, economic growth, social progress, cultural development and regional peace were cemented as the core principles by the founding nations and still stand strong today.

They have successfully weathered both the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the global economic crisis of 2008-09, to make it one of the world’s top 5 economies. ASEAN’s countries equate to a total of 642 million people, accounting for over 8% of the world’s population with a GDP of US$2.76tn growing at a rate of 4.7% - this is significantly higher than any other global region and translates to a per capita metric of US$4,308.

Your guide to doing business in ASEAN

Through the years in ASEAN, HSBC has been part of the prosperous economic growth along the way. Today, ASEAN has become one of the world’s top 5 economies and the world’s fastest growing trade bloc, supported by its young dynamic and digital population.

How Hong Kong has become the key connector for ASEAN

  • An investment agreement between Hong Kong and ASEAN entered into force in June 2019
  • The ASEAN bloc was Hong Kong’s second-largest trading partner in 2018
  • The ASEAN bloc ranked fourth among Hong Kong’s leading destinations for outward direct investment as of the end of 2017
  • Hong Kong is an important entrepot for trade between mainland China and ASEAN, serving as a bridge between the two

HSBC ASEAN Forum: The new world economy

Presenters at the HSBC ASEAN New Economy Forum held in Hong Kong had a very clear message; there are ‘golden opportunities’ across the 6 major ASEAN markets for Hong Kong-based companies, driven by strong economic growth, a young and expanding consumer base and a well-established infrastructure for carrying out business.

Business benefits & opportunities in ASEAN

Now more than ever, companies from all over the world are looking to ASEAN to expand their operations from within the bloc around Asia and globally.

Download the ASEAN Report

Shifting demographics

ASEAN is home to a dynamic demographic with 35% of the population under 20 years old and 65% to be classed as middle income by 2030, raising spending to hit US$2.3 trillion.

Fast economic and trade growth

Currently, ASEAN as a trade bloc is one of the top 5 economies in the world, with its GDP set to exceed US$4tn by 20225. Current exports total US$1.3tn, with forecasts predicting exports to rise to US$2.8tn by 2025, making ASEAN the world's fastest-growing trade bloc2&3.

The rise of digital

ASEAN’s digital economy is growing rapidly, with expanding digital networks and growing numbers of mobile phone and Internet users – ASEAN has more people coming online than any other region in the world, with eCommerce forecast to grow to US$88 billion by 2025.

Cross-border connections

ASEAN has driven a significant reduction in trade barriers across the ASEAN and ASEAN + 6 (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, The Republic of Korea), easing the cost and complexities of trading across the region – and continued easing of restrictions on labour movement for selected professions and new talent gives businesses access to a young dynamic workforce.


1 HSBC in ASEAN (ISB Pitchbook)
2 ASEAN. Driving Your Ambition (Accenture ASEAN Consumer Research)
3 ASEAN Statistical Year Book 2018
4 ASEAN Investment Report 2018
5 PwC, The future of ASEAN: Time to act


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

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