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ASEAN Unified Hub 2016: Enjoy Traveling and Setting Up Shop NOW!

December 24, 2015       Arts and Culture
ASEAN Unified Hub
Enjoy Traveling and Setting Up Shop in
Unified ASEAN Markets NOW!

Think travel is something you can only do with a visa-stamped passport and big bucks for airfare?  ASEAN Integration will make it easier for ASEAN citizens to travel within the region when most bureaucratic barriers to travel, cultural exchanges, and business exchanges are going to be lowered.  And opportunities for making a killing (entrepreneurship you idiot, no zealots allowed on this thread) will be opened for everyone local.  You don't just hop over to Thailand for the beaches and the world-renown healthy cuisine--you can also get insights and ideas and share these ideas with ASEAN friends too and make opportunities happen.

Image Credit:  Takeaway for WikiCommons CC BY-SA 3.0
Inspiring to Travel in South East Asia just for the amazing regional
cuisines.  Cultural differences are storng points for the region because
exchanges can create very profitable entrepreneurship opportunities
for ASEAN member citizens looking for lifestyle and SME ideas.

Small to medium-scale entrepreneurs are especially encouraged to look around the region for a chance to grow and develop ideas for businesses.  The focus being on mutually beneficial relationships among peoples in the ASEAN.

Tourism and Cultural Exchanges

Travel within ASEAN by the region's citizens promises more than just cheap vacations or casual cultural exchanges after integration.  ASEAN member citizens will now have a rare chance to find life-changing moments and make long-lasting relationships in what may be the most colorful and eventful, diverse and multi-ethnic cooperative geographical region in the world because of the unified regional hub. 

Travel restrictions for ASEAN region citizens will be eased the way EU member states allow its own citizens to safely travel from one country to another with the least amount of red tape or bureaucratic boundaries--just one passport gets you everywhere within ASEAN.

Because the ASEAN region IS the strongest performing and most stable economic region in the world at the moment and unaffected by most global economic turmoil due to stronger economic management, people can actually enjoy traveling around ASEAN and find their favorite holiday hotspots beyond the borders of their own countries. 

Image Credit: TheCoffee  Alabang Town Center Atrium for WikiCommons  CC BY-SA 3.0
Expanding your business?  You can check out the supermalls in the
ASEAN region to see what products and services are hot and what
ain't.  So you don't lose your shirt.  Featured above is the Alabang
Town Center:  a thriving mini-city of its own in South Manila.

This is a chance for the people of ASEAN who want to explore other opportunities than just a beach holiday in Thailand or a shopping spree in downtown Manila.  Borders will be less bureaucratic, and finding mutual opportunities is the name of the game.

Looking for and availing of opportunities for making a living, travel and setting down roots in the region, without thinking of their home countries as competition will be an easier deal and will actually be encouraged by ASEAN leaders.

What to Expect?

The standard operating procedure of most Western business organizations when they run a business in foreign territories is to get a business relationship going with a local partner to ease themselves into market position and familiarize themselves with local business conditions. 
Big business looks at the numbers.  Like in China--there is an X number of citizens and businesses with nothing going for them for business or life insurance--and the size of that potential market is what they look at as opportunity.  Boring.  Also the fastest way to lose your shirt.  One good way to suss out what's going to be hot is to look at investments in high growth or stable yet long tail markets.  Technology and education.  Business process outsourcing.  Local development infrastructure.  You can be small and still count if you know how to wing it and know where it counts most.

In the fast developing economies of some ASEAN countries, the teaching of English as a second language is fast becoming a very profitable yet unheralded opportunity.  Many tech companies are paying talented locals as good as they can while still staying competitive with their own homegrown base as far as costs are involved.  Nobody will plunk good money overseas if it costs more and they get less in return. 

Western countries are looking as ASEAN as a hub for service industry telecommunications-oriented industries and even tech development.  For English speaking Filipinos who are technically skilled at any high value job, you might find your career sitting right in the backyard of the ASEAN integrated economic region.  Why go halfway around the globe to a highly volatile geographical region when you might find that the best place to make a living might be everywhere in the ASEAN?

Not Backwater Hell. More, Sky's the Limit

Many places in ASEAN dev-countries still lack the many vital infrastructure bases for telecommunications, power, supply grid connections and office space as well as sustainable housing development.  Despite these seeming restrictions to faster development, you might find that the least developed countries or the rising stars actually offer better opportunities than your own home country because bureaucracy and corruption and red tape ares not yet as entrenched, and their rulers pride themselves in surpassing odds and expectations in making their country beautiful rather than amassing as much as they can mulch.  

Take this insight as your guide when looking at what most might thumb their noses at as backwater places.  Also applies for outlying rural communities in the ASEAN countries untouched by overdevelopment hell and entrenched bureaucrats. 

Many big British and French service firms as well as South Korean 'chaebol' businesses are setting up shop in the fast rising economies of Cambodia and Vietnam and even Myanmar.  While tech companies are choosing Singapore as their ASEAN hub.  There are other big businesses who are quietly investing in the region and setting roots down first before growing out and branching with fruit.

If you are worrying if the region is vulnerable to another meltdown similar to the 1997 financial crisis, don't worry, the ASEAN plus 3 countries put up the Chiang Mai initiative: a mixed currency swap that is used as a regional stabilizing fund for any volatile regional economic problems such as short-term liquidity problems---As of May 3, 2012, the 15th ASEAN+3 Finance Ministers and Central Bank’s Governors’ meeting held in Manila, Philippines ironed out an agreement expanding the Chiang Main Initiative, from its current $120 billion to 240 billion.  All ASEAN members to date have very healthy foreign currency reserves and all ASEAN members are actively using the Chiang Mai initiative as one of their more reliable and stable economic management tools.  There are plenty of economic and financial safeguards now to prevent another 1997 meltdown from creeping up on ASEAN ever again.

Enormous Entrepreneurship Potential

or the ASEAN small business entrepreneur what's in it for you?  Odds are, you'd like to see what it's like for yourself on the ground--checking out markets, shops, vendors.  Looking at what works and what will cost you your shirt.  You just might find amazing entrepreneurship potential unlike no other.

Image Credit: NEDA, used for review purposes
A NEDA graphic showing how inter-trade flows will happen
with the ASEAN integration.

Sometimes, individuals go to a country as workers first, to acclimatize themselves to the way of doing things in a different cultural environment.  There are many testimonials on the web on how business in the ASEAN region is up for grabs for those who know what to look for--but this applies to any geographic region too.  Traveling as a tourist around the region allows you to see what the country offers for both holiday seekers and what it has going for doing business and making a living.  Business isn't an exclusive club reserved for corporate giants.  Small and medium scale entrepreneurs are the backbone of ASEAN economic growth and will remain a strong force for fueling development and mutually beneficial exchanges.

Image Credit: SVietnam Tourism 2015, used for review purposes
In Vietnam, you can experience the Dong Varst plateau community
homestay as your lifestyle travel opportunity: a chance to experience
indigenous ASEAN cultural customs and learn how to preserve
regional and local traditions as essential and parallel to development.

The best thing to do is to look around and smell the roses.  See for yourself what  can happen.  Before someone figures it out and gets first dibs on you.  There are ASEAN business development hubs like that provide subscribers plenty of advice on how to go about and make things happen anywhere in ASEAN as business start-ups or entrepreneurs. is another business and investment guide portal for potential investors in ASEAN.  Check these resources out and keep your wits together, checking out how things are and comparing it with what people say IS the smarter thing to do always.  Don't just take 'expert' advice as incontrovertible fact.  Smell the roses first.  Are they for real?

Think of the ASEAN integrated economic region like HongKong was for British nationals before the hand-off to China:  a place of opportunity for everyone, but ASEAN integration IS better, BIGGER, and you can rock your socks off with everything falling into place for the regional economic hub.  To rise and develop way better than Hongkong did or will.
  For the small business entrepreneur, travel there may show them a chance to look at great ideas that might be taken for granted. 

Image Credit:  Bò 7 món for WikiCommons  CC BY 2.0
Vietnamese cuisine has had a resurgence as one of the healthiest
and most delicious Asian repasts one can enjoy.  It has also fueled
entrepreneurial ventures in places like Manila and others in ASEAN

Like why is it that street food kiosks found in every corner of most ASEAN nations are considered to be extremely rewarding culinary treats, and amazing food bargains, while in the Philippines, street food (NOT the food bazaars in the gentrified areas of the Manila) may often be a very dangerous adventure that may cost you your health due to poor sanitary preparations. 

Where there are Pinoys working, ventures into Filipino food will
always be a successful idea.  ASEAN countires can feed off each
other's cultural identities to create plenty of opportunities for
entrepreneurship and lifestyle exchanges.

There are other cultural ideas that can translate well on both sides--craftsmen making handicrafts and bespoke products unmatched in execution and quality anywhere in the world. 

Image Credit:  old FB group page of the show, used for review purposes only
Older Pinoy TV media entertainment like AMAYA is very popular
among Cambodian
and Vietnamese TV viewers right now. 

Even media entertainment is a booming market for ASEAN content in countries like Vietnam and Cambodia.  Older Pinoy TV shows are finding new life and are redubbed for ASEAN markets.  Pinoy media shows are said to be commanding good prices of up to $1000 per episode, up from $150 per episode not too long ago for TV syndication licenses.  Local artists and writers and production houses might find amazing opportunity to start a base in developing ASEAN countries, even for indie studios, and become the future media giant there.

Overall, expect plenty of opportunity for growth and prosperity when 2016 comes around for everyone within ASEAN.


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