The rapidly developing Southeast Asian markets are becoming increasingly attractive destinations for Australian companies

, according to a survey conducted by Regus, the world’s leading provider of workplace solutions. The research, which polled over 800 business leaders across Australia, found that 58% of companies are interested in doing business across the Southeast Asian region.

The survey also uncovered a mounting appetite amongst smaller companies to flourish in Southeast Asia: while almost two-thirds of larger companies say they are interested in doing business in the region, the number of smaller companies who have intentions to expand abroad are rising. In fact, 36% of small companies declared themselves more interested this year than last year, compared to 31% of larger companies.

Singapore, in particular, is the top destination for Australian businesses to expand into overseas markets, according to Regus, stating that their Australian customers’ choice for Southeast Asia expansion plans would be, after Singapore, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, or Vietnam.

William WillemsWilliam Willems, Regional Vice-President ANZ and Southeast Asia for Regus, comments: “The Australian economy has proved itself reliable and resilient over the past few years, but local businesses are now looking to take advantage of huge opportunities in Southeast Asian markets. As a result, today we ourselves have more Australian customers in Singapore than we do in the United States or the United Kingdom, and more in the Philippines than in China or Hong Kong.”

David Thomas, CEO of Think Global Consulting, said: “We are seeing a steady interest in the Southeast Asian market from Australian businesses of all sizes. Singapore is always going to be the hub for Southeast Asia. However, Indonesia, which has the fourth largest population in the world, will be an important market for Australian businesses in future. Australian businesses offering high quality services, from education, tourism and financial/professional services to design, innovation and technology, are in high demand in Southeast Asia.”

In general it is not surprising that Singapore, known for its political stability and investor-friendly environment, ranked tops in a poll participated by over 800 business leaders across Australia.

By Daniela La Marca