Eye On The Tiger
Our World | On 24, Oct 2013
It is widely agreed that Asia has been a massive economic success since 1945. Private domestic investment, massive population growth, an educated labour force and, in general, an effective system of public administration have all contributed to eye boggling growth statistics.
While no discussion on Asia can completely ignore the two giants, China and Japan, these are generally well known and we need to dig deeper on the future of our industry in this vast and intriguing continent.
Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea were the original tiger economies. Financial services, underpinned the first two, manufacturing was key in Taiwan whilst South Korea’s chaebol’s (industrial conglomerates) have lead the way in recent years with Samsung, Hyundai and LG. In addition there was an unquestionable work ethic contributing to this success in the tiger economies.
With the volume of middle and higher income individuals increasing significantly in Asia there is a bigger consumer target audience with a requirement for services and products, and importantly it’s an audience that embraces technological advancements and the use of English to continue this excellent growth.
The Cubs are Growing Up
Many businesses are re-locating factories and other elements of their supply chains, out of China and into Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia due to better value labour costs. Also elements of Bangladesh’s garment industry are also looking to relocate further east due to safety concerns in Dhaka. As productivity and consumer numbers continue to increase, factory visits and regional meetings will increase to the so-called to ‘Tiger Cub’ countries of Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippines and Indonesia who are ranked an impressive 14th place globally for manufacturing and industrial export.
This in turn is creating an environment where there is a requirement to communicate, train, meet, incentivise and reward in Asia. It may not involve a British or European audience but there remains the opportunity of relevant, fantastic events.
Much of the traditional incentive business has enjoyed Asia, specifically Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong, for more than twenty years. Whilst Thailand continues to be great value with an array of wonderful experiences, Singapore and Hong Kong’s combination of financial service growth and energy to create futuristic cities also made them a focus for the global meetings market. Service levels were impeccable, luxury hotels were good value and these countries understood the value of a customer. While still exciting options, these two destinations have now become significantly more expensive, due to high demand, again putting more exposure on the value of the Tiger Cubs.
The recent growth of Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and in the coming years possibly Burma, will become more relevant to business and in turn more relevant to our industry. We like to have originality, authenticity and a genuine experience and these countries will offer excellent solutions.
Asia is no longer a continent, different countries have progressed at different speeds however the massive growth in consumer numbers, fascinating cultures, stunning food and amazing panoramas will make Asia even more significant to our industry in the future.