Rare OpportunityNormally companies struggle to stay on top of the myriad of "day-to-day" challenges inherent in today's competitive business world. Strategic planning is recognized as important, but by all accounts infrequently performed and even less frequently managed. Monitoring geopolitical events and adjusting business strategy in response is the domain of the very largest companies with risk management teams and many layers of management. For SMEs it is something disconnected from business - the remote headlines during a quick scan of the paper.
But not this time. Wake up SMEs. You have a rare opportunity to leverage rapidly shifting global relationships to the short-term benefit and long-term value of your business!
ASEAN ArrivesSoutheast Asia has had a long journey since the currency crisis of a decade ago. And it is a journey which many of the nations have navigated deftly. Generally impressive GDP growth rates, enviable per capita incomes, remarkable manufacturing growth and exploding middle classes characterize many of these countries which just years ago were national "basket cases."
China has developed ties with these countries as one would expect - as virtual neighbors. But the Chinese intentions are deeper. First, several of the ASEAN nations offer substantial reserves of natural resources (e.g. tin and rubber) to supply the Chinese industrial expansion. Additionally they straddle strategically important shipping lanes - both for Chinese exports AND for critical oil imports which pass through the Strait of Malacca. China is eager to ensure relations with these nations as one element of its plan to safeguard its petroleum supply channel.
American AwakeningMeanwhile for that same decade the US has been largely preoccupied with two wars in different theaters. Events in Southeast Asia, while not ignored, were only "responded to" rather than proactively managed in many cases. But with the wars ending, and a sudden appreciation of the precarious strategic situation in the area, the US is moving at diplomatic "light speed" to establish a meaningful presence in the region. The weapon it has selected is commerce. A welcome selection and one well represented by timely commissioning of the "Peace through Commerce" awards which the Department of Commerce has begun to distribute.
But the US has a lot of catching up to do - and recognizing that is committing substantial assets to the rapid and effective development of strong trade ties. And herein lies the amazing opportunity for SMEs.
The US Government needs you to begin exporting NOW to Southeast Asia!
Abundant Resources and AssistanceYou have at your disposal, should you decide to avail your business of them, the dedicated and focused resources of substantial portions of the Departments of Commerce and State. It is safe to say you will never have more eager and proactive support for any business venture. Additionally the governments of the ASEAN nations are just as eager to receive American exporters, and working to ensure market access and welcoming environments.
Just consider this amazing opportunity - Trade Winds Asia in May '12. And how many different Southeast Asian summits were held in Nov? I lost count at around 5 - President Obama dedicated nearly two consecutive weeks to the region!
When Even Burma is Included, You Know its for Real!Still not convinced? Not long after Thant Myint-U published his interesting book Where China Meets India: Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia, the US Secretary of State has made the first official visit to Burma in over 50 years. And the length of time between first substantial overtures and the official visit was measured in weeks. Certainly Myint-U's premise - that Burma is the key, as the geographical connector, to the eventual evolution and integration of Southeast Asia with either China or India as a primary partner, and potentially as the conduit for improving relations between those two behemoths.
Consilium Principal Ed Marsh will be in Vietnam with a client later in Dec. Contact us to find out how we can help you very quickly leverage this amazing opportunity.
Interested in learning more? Download our eBook on the "New Silk Road" here.