The concerted economic growth in Asia has presented a number of business opportunities for ambitious firms.
Both SMEs and large-scale companies are being encouraged to look to the continent as they target expansion, with many of its leading countries boasting large trade surpluses.
With the ASEAN Economic Community also set to be established by the end of 2015, there are plenty of reasons why now is a great time to target growth in Asia and steal a march on competitors.
Targeting Asian expansion
As with any overseas expansion, companies need to make sure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful. For example, do you know how should you conduct yourself on a business meeting in Thailand or China?
We've already spoken about how easy it is to make a bad first impression in Asian countries, and this could end your hopes of securing a business deal before the pitch is even under way.
This is why research is essential, as companies have to be aware of the cultural nuances and practices of each region, or else they will end up looking offensive, stupid or a combination of the two.
Understanding Asian business culture
But businesses can breathe a collective sigh of relief, as we have done all of the groundwork for you with our new infographic that demonstrates how you can make your meeting count in Asia.
It outlines how people can be successful in five Asian countries – Japan, China, Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia – by giving the key insights everyone should be armed with ahead of a meeting.
For example, Thai people place a lot of importance on building personal relationships when discussing business, while an open palm should always be used when pointing during a presentation in China. Moreover, in South Korea employees are expected to attend after-work gatherings and extensive drinking sessions to build relations.
While these actions may sound insignificant to a Western audience, they will be the difference between success and failure and so should be taken very seriously. There is no doubt that Asia is ripe for investment, but companies will be left red faced if they are not aware of what is expected of them.