12 Jun /14

The Pacific Century

Asian startup sceneAccording to many economists and financial experts, the 21st century may very well be a “Pacific Century,” due to the continued growth of Asian and Pacific Rim economies. Macro-economically, this growth will be driven by the technology sector and Asia’s burgeoning middle class. However, on the micro-level, a large percentage of growth will be generated by the ever-growing number of startup enterprises.

A logical center for the startup boom in Asia is Singapore. Singapore already possesses a high standard of living and a global reputation known as an offshore tax heaven. In addition the nation’s economy boosts the funding resources (both for initial capital and for future growth), infrastructure, and educated workforce necessary for startups. A brief look at the sheer numbers for per capita new business development shows that Singapore produces 5.7 startups per 1,000 people. As a result, Singapore is the only Asian nation in the top 30 of the world’s startup ranking. The only drawbacks for future startup growth in Singapore are the country’s relatively strict regulations for immigration and its expansive bureaucracy.

Located next door to Singapore is often-overlooked Malaysia. Though the Malaysian economy doesn’t receive as much attention as some other Asian startup hubs, Malaysia has the second highest per capita startup rate in the entire Asia-Pacific region. Much of this success is due to Malaysia’s willingness to synergize government assistance, professional knowledge, and venture capital in an effort to attract both domestic and foreign startups, in the same fashion as it was previously done with them inception of the Multimedia Super Corridor.

Located on the opposite side of Pacific Asia is Asia’s current startup darling: South Korea. South Korea’s rise to startup stardom is both recent and rapid. From 2008 to 2012 the number of annual startups in South Korea has grown by more than 80%, which resulted in the fact that in 2011 the country registered the most startups of all countries in the region. Driving this growth is a massive effort of techno-centric incubation in the form of a new governmental entity to support new tech companies. This governmental effort to boost innovative business is aided by over $1 billion in domestic investment from venture capital firms, and a 3-year, $3.7 billion government plan to invest in early-stage companies.

When we take account of the economic development of the Asia-Pacific region it is easy to be preoccupied with the regional giants China, Japan, and South Korea. But especially when analyzing the startup and small business scene in the region, it is beneficial to closely watch the smaller markets, because it is off the beaten where real innovation takes place.
Contact EVS Translations to learn more about how we can assist your company to capitalize on the booming Asian startup scene and help you make lasting connections across the region.

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