S’pore-based US firms confident about Asean growth potential

AmCham Singapore chairman Dwight Hutchins said US business leaders are right to have their capital hubs in Singapore to take advantage of opportunities in the region.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

South-east Asian markets continue to remain important to United States businesses, as a poll of 210 business executives in the region showed an increasing percentage expecting profits to increase, compared with two years ago.

The sectors in Singapore identified by the latest annual Asean Business Outlook Survey as the most promising for US businesses were banking and finance; followed by software, IT and telecommunications; e-commerce/digital/online retail; consulting; and pharmaceuticals/medical.

The US business community in Singapore is still very confident in the growing potential for trade and investment in the region as a whole,

said the report, which highlighted that almost 100 per cent of Singapore respondents indicate their companies’ level of trade and investment had either risen or held steady in the past two years.

This is despite American companies in Asean feeling the effect of the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017 and the current economic uncertainty caused by Sino-US trade tensions.

Forty-six per cent of respondents across Asean said the Americans’ punitive trade actions against China would trigger negative consequences on their operations.

Results of the survey, which was conducted from April to June last year by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham Singapore), were released yesterday.

More than half of those surveyed were business executives who have been operating in Asean for 20 years or more.

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