Wednesday May 30, 2012
A new frontier in Asean trade with new link
Plain Speaking - By Yap Leng Kuen
THE Asean theme is coming up in a big way. From banking, economics and trade, it is now reverberating through some of the major stock exchanges in the region.
By August, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand will probably sign a link enabling their investors to trade freely between these exchanges.
It will no longer be just a play among the big boys. The small guys can also take part, signifying a real opening up of the exchanges.
In fact, the Malaysia/Singapore link is targeted to be inked next month.
For some time, statistics show that intra-Asean trade is on a strong uptrend.
In banking, regional opportunities are also opening up as Malaysian banks beef up their operations and talent base in the region.
While Asean represents a major perspective of the future, it is timely to advise caution when it comes to dealing offshore.
A lot of research is required when it comes to dealing with stocks overseas. Familiarity with local conditions is important, while mingling with the locals reduces suspicion and animosity.
Going on the learning curve and paying the tuition fees are among some of the vital experiences one would initially undergo.
The regional charge is something that has to be carefully strategised. Among key success factors would be a strong dose of patience, good negotiating skills and some element of risk-taking.
With Europe still beset with economic problems, the chances for Asean strengthening are bright.
While advising caution, we should also be mindful of the clock ticking away as opportunities not taken may never resurface.
Sense of timing is therefore important. This is something that cannot be learnt but mostly gleaned through experience in doing business.
A good sense of neighbourliness is also vital when doing cross-border business. Besides respect, good practices such as corporate responsibility and community relations are important for cultivating long lasting ties.