China's Growing Affluence Drives Investors to New Emerging Markets

    New end market is primary draw for doing business in Southeast Asia

    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, July 30 /CNW/ -- China has been the cornerstone
for many businesses operating in Asia. Increasing labor and commodity costs,
however, are causing those businesses to rethink their growth plans
incorporating a phenomenon known as the "China plus one" strategy, by which
firms seek to distribute their operations more widely in the Asian region, in
addition to expanding their presence in China. While China and India continue
to grab the headlines, many of those businesses are seeing a rapid increase in
profit levels from elsewhere in Asia -- in many cases outstripping returns in
China. 15% of respondents expected revenue growth of over 25% annually from
their operations in Southeast Asia, almost double the proportion of firms that
boasted such rates during the previous three years.
    That is one of the findings of a new report "Rich pickings -
opportunities in Southeast Asia's emerging markets," produced by leading
global credit insurer Atradius in conjunction with the Economist Intelligence
Unit. The report is based on a survey of businesses, most of which have their
headquarters in Europe and the U.S.
    Another reason that businesses are looking toward the second tier of
emerging markets is the current dearth of manufacturing capacity in India. A
potent mix of Indian bureaucracy, politics and scarcity of facilities means
that manufacturers are simply looking elsewhere to set up.
    "Infrastructure problems aside, the Asian market holds huge opportunities
for both Western investors and exporters," says Tommie Sjodahl, Atradius'
Chief Market Officer responsible for Asia. "With traditional markets
shrinking, or at best stagnating, as a result of the global economic downturn,
businesses are turning -- indeed in many cases because they see no other
opportunities -- to the markets of Southeast Asia."
    The Atradius report "Rich pickings" can be found in the Publications
section of the Atradius website at
es.html. More than half of the businesses participating in the report noted
that the potential of Southeast Asia as a new end market was one of their main
reasons for setting up operations in these countries. The Atradius report
shows that the Southeast Asian economies that make up the ASEAN bloc are
attracting ever increasing interest from foreign firms looking to invest, sell
into, source from or find partners in the region. "The resilience of these
markets to the global downturn can be traced back to the lessons that they
learned from the Asian financial crisis in the late '90s," explains Sjodahl,
"and that's a positive omen for Western firms seeking to grow their business
in Asia."
    About Atradius:
    Atradius provides trade credit insurance, surety and collections services
worldwide, and has a presence in 40 countries. Its products and services aim
to reduce its customers' exposure to buyers who cannot pay for the products
and services customers purchase. With total revenues of approximately EUR 1.8
billion and a 31% share of the global trade credit insurance market, its
products contribute to the growth of companies throughout the world by
protecting them from payment risks associated with selling products and
services on credit. With 160 offices, it has access to credit information on
52 million companies worldwide and makes more than 22,000 trade credit limit
decisions daily.

     Further information:
     Corporate Communications
     Christine Gerryn
     Tel. +31 20 553 2047

     Kathy Farley
     Marketing Communications Manager, NAFTA
     Tel.: +1 410 246 5584

     Ian Miller
     Country Manager, Canada
     Tel.: +1 613 256 9134

     Karel van Laack
     Country Manager, Mexico
     Tel.: +52 55 5484 0026


For further information:

For further information: Christine Gerryn, Corporate Communications, +31
20 553 2047,, or Kathy Farley, Marketing
Communications Manager, NAFTA, +1-410-246-5584,, or
Ian Miller, Country Manager, Canada, +1-613-256-9134,,
or Karel van Laack, Country Manager, Mexico, +52 55 5484 0026,, all of Atradius Web Site:

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