EU-ASEAN Business Sentiment Survey 2018

EU-ASEAN Business Council (EU-ABC), the primary voice for European business within the ASEAN region, announced the release of the 2018 EU-ASEAN Business Sentiment Survey. The survey aims to serve as a barometer for the business sentiment and outlook of European businesses in Southeast Asia.

European businesses continue to have a very positive outlook in Southeast Asia and expect to see ASEAN profits increase, according to the fourth annual EU-ASEAN Business Sentiment Survey, which polled more than 330 executives from European companies around Southeast Asia. Some of the key findings from this year’s survey, which is the fourth that the EU-ABC has done, include: 

   •  99% of European businesses expect to maintain or expand their trade and investment in ASEAN

  • There is an almost unanimous view that the EU should accelerate trade deals with the ASEAN region (98% of respondents said as much);
  • Majority of businesses believe that FTAs between the EU and the ASEAN region will help their business performance
  • There has been an increase in the number of respondents reporting that they often encounter unfair competitive practices in their response location (ASEAN wide now 30% vs 18% in 2017; For Myanmar – albeit on a smaller sample size – the comparison is 36% for 2018 vs 32% for 2017)
  • There has also been a fall in the perception of the amount of consultation that governments in the region undertake.
  • More positively, overall European business sentiment towards Southeast Asia remains very strong.


Key findings in the Survey are:


Business Environment & Outlook

99% expect to either expand or maintain current levels of trade and investment in ASEAN in the next 5 years (2017 – 98%)

72% expect an increase in ASEAN profits in 2018 (2017 – 75%)

51% see ASEAN as the region with the best economic opportunity

Free Trade Agreements & Multilateral Trade Deals

87% believe that a region-to-region FTA between the EU and ASEAN would deliver more advantages than a series of bilateral FTAs

73% believe they are at a disadvantage without an EU-ASEAN FTA (2017 – 55%)

98% believe the EU should accelerate negotiations on FTAs with the ASEAN region (94% in 2017)

ASEAN Regional & Domestic Policy Frameworks

Only 12% feel that ASEAN has achieved its aim of a single market and production base

54% feel that the AEC process is too slow

42% feel that ASEAN economic integration has made a positive impact on their business (2017 – 47%)

85% believe that further ASEAN economic integration will be important to their businesses (2017 – 71%)

Government Consultation & Competition Issues

70% feel they are often or sometimes consulted by national governments in ASEAN (2017 – 75%)

Only 45% of respondents feel that the EU is sufficiently engaged European business interests in ASEAN (2017 – 37%)

62% feel they often or occasionally face unfair competitive practices in their response locations (2017 – 48%)


For full findings of the Survey, read the report here  and the press release click here 


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