February 25, 2018, 5:54 am
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Asean companies need to do business across borders

by Jan Alvin Pabellon, Director of Product Management, Oracle NetSuite

THE Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is celebrating the golden anniversary of its founding this year.

 The regional organization is composed of ten member states that include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. A diverse region, it covers 4.4 million sq km, with a combined population of approximately 622 million people. It has a combined GDP that is projected to hit $2.6 trillion this year—which is collectively larger than the GDPs of India, the UK, France, Brazil, Russia or Australia.

ASEAN’s vision of promoting regional multilateralism, peace, stability and prosperity is as vital and relevant as ever. One of the ways it achieves this is by creating an environment that encourages closer economic cooperation among members. The organization’s role in facilitating easier cross-border trade plays a big part in that—allowing companies to do business much more easily and conveniently.

Bright prospects for the region ahead.Companies would be wise to take advantage of the increasingly dynamic and open economies of the Southeast Asian region. The region has one of the fastest growing consumer markets in the world driven by a young, growing middle class, and is a preferred destination for outsourced manufacturing and services.

Singapore is the economic hub of the region, with its strong governance systems and continued leadership in all indicators of economic development, but growth in the region is expected to be largely driven by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Indonesia is by far the region’s largest economy, and shows signs of continued growth this year and the coming years.

Malaysia’s export-oriented economy is being buoyed by growth in the global markets and its competitive currency.

Thailand is similar, with a strong local currency and continued growth of demand for its exports. The Philippines’ growth on the other hand is being driven from within by strong domestic demand fueled by a young population and a government eager to ramp up spending in local infrastructure.

These markets, plus the largely untapped, frontier economies of Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Myanmar will push further the bright economic prospects of the region and increase the attractiveness of the region to international trade and investments in the near future.

Connectivity eases doing business across borders. Further positive developments are expected due to expanding connectivity, growing Internet access, and the shift to digital and the “cloud” in ASEAN member states.

Connectivity, whether virtual or physical, enables the open exchange of information, capital, labor, products and services—which ultimately brings about market efficiency and transparency. It encourages interdependency that can be a powerful force for harmony and stability. Over time it also reduces development gaps and enhances competitiveness—all important to have in an increasingly global economy.

The Internet, and more broadly digital technologies, are powerful enablers of connectivity especially in the areas of international business and trade.

It is a platform by which sellers can reach new markets, and allows buyers to source and find products more easily.

With more than 320 million Internet users, many of whom are young, enthusiastic users of social and mobile technologies, the region has attracted widespread interest and investment in online businesses. It also enables greater efficiency and effectiveness for even traditional or brick and mortar businesses wanting to do business across borders.

The Internet and digital technology allows these companies to rethink and transform how they communicate and manage their processes. The emerging area of cloud computing is one example, wherein organizations get easier access to software and services to automate their processes, improve their operations, and scale their business, in a more economically viable way.  

Go to the expert. To take advantage of these opportunities, Oracle NetSuite can help companies doing business across ASEAN do business much more easily. Offering an entire business suite delivered via the cloud, that is offered via subscription, automatically updated, and takes advantage of the latest technologies, we offer businesses unparalleled capabilities that can give them the edge in doing business internationally, across the region.
NetSuite OneWorld offering gives companies the ability to manage multiple subsidiaries in one system, transact in multiple languages and currencies, and meet global and local accounting and reporting requirements with its flexible accounting and taxation capabilities. Capabilities include:
Local language support for Thai, Simplified and Traditional Chinese and also for businesses to trade with customers, suppliers and partners anywhere in the world in the language of their choice while meeting local compliance standards and cultural expectations through easily customizable forms.

Country-specific indirect tax reporting capabilities whether for GST, VAT or Withholding Taxes, are available for the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Automated intercompany accounting and reporting with multi-currency consolidation, and real-time roll ups across accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, billing, invoicing and order fulfillment, from local in-country operations to regional offices, all the way to global headquarters.

Comprehensive controls and reports for audit and compliance with highly configurable, role-based access controls and workflows, built-in support for both international and country-specific audit reports, always-on audit trail and access logs, and powerful analytics that provide the ability to drill down from any report to the underlying transaction detail.

A web-native architecture that enables access from anywhere on the globe, on any device whether desktop or mobile.

Companies will be wise to invest in a system that can help them take advantage of the economic opportunities that exist in the growing, and increasingly connected ASEAN region.

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