Expanding Business Into Asia: Why It's Important, and How to Be Strategic

By: Tom Homer

Succeeding in Asia isn’t a given. Many US telecom giants have boldly stepped into the region, only to fail to gain the traction they were looking for. However, these failures haven’t dissuaded the competition, and as Asia’s various economies continue to grow, the region remains an important destination for American companies looking to go global. Meanwhile, as pipes get faster and smarter and the cloud plays an increasingly significant role in global data management, the way the telecommunications industry supports its partners in Asia continues to change.

Communications service providers (CSPs) no longer just support voice and data: they’ve taken on a critical role as a partner in complete connectivity, for which their regional knowledge and on-the-ground expertise can mean the difference between a seamless, successful move into Asia or not.

Spotlight on Asia today

When we map on a matrix the center of global consumption, we see it is shifting east by more than one hundred miles a year. Research suggests that today, 40 percent of global economic activity is now occurring in Asia, and world growth is expected to continue being led by Asia over the next decade. Half the world’s population lives in the many diverse nations that comprise Asia and, every day, the number of people living in Asian cities grows by more than 120,000. Research also suggests that, by the middle of this century, more than half of the world’s economic activity will occur in Asia.

In fact, by 2025 it is predicted that Asian incomes will be only a quarter less than that of the US. This is compared to 1980, when incomes per person in Asia were one thirtieth of that in the United States. With figures like these, very soon Asia will not just be the biggest global producer of goods and services, it will also be the biggest global consumer. Additionally, the number of Internet users in Asia and the Pacific has tripled since 2005 to more than 1 billion.

Consider this: during the Industrial Revolution, it took Britain 50 years to double its per capita income. Recently, China and India, like Japan, South Korea and Singapore before them, doubled their per capita income within a decade. They then went on to do it several times over.


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