Opportunity knocks – if regional challenges can be overcome
Asia Pacific is the engine room of the global economy. GDP growth across the region outstrips the West; while the vast majority of European and North American economies are forecast to grow by less than 2% in 2016, many of those in Asia Pacific are looking for at least 3% growth and in some cases more. And while the Chinese economy cools, increasing economic co-operation between its neighbours has the potential to offset this.
Faced with a myriad of challenges and opportunities, what are the views of business leaders across Asia Pacific? Grant Thornton asked 675 business leaders across two Asia Pacific countries through its International Business Report (IBR) to find out.
We found that while overall business optimism is increasing, some see challenge where others see opportunity. Many are excited by the prospect of automation transforming the business landscape, while others see it as a potential threat to third party providers of low skilled labour, a pillar of some economies in the region. Likewise, developed Asia Pacific economies, in particular, are positive about the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) while others urge diversification of investment into the ASEAN economic community (AEC) with attractive incentives on offer.
On the other side of the coin though, the region faces significant economic, political and social challenges which , if left unmitigated, could undermine its economic promise.
Asia Pacific spans a huge and diverse business community, from India to Japan to New Zealand. What is clear from our research is that while threats do linger, businesses remain largely confident about the coming months and years, with many areas ripe with opportunity.