The Importance of ASEAN for American Companies


  • Title: The Importance of ASEAN for American Companies
  • Date: October 9th, 2013

Dezan Shira & Associates Founder, Chris Devonshire-Ellis, provides insight into the opportunities that ASEAN brings to American companies doing business in Asia. Mr. Devonshire-Ellis discusses the business environment and the applicable tax and trade agreements in effect in the region.


1. What is ASEAN? Brief introduction.
• Free trade agreement between Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, etc.
• ASEAN could be a 9th largest country in the world – the third Asian dragon.

2. What is the significance of ASEAN for American companies and where are the opportunities?
• Growth is expected to be 6% annually. Second largest globally growing region in the world.
• China and India have an agreement with ASEAN. An opportunity to manufacture in ASEAN countries and then distribute to China and India duty free.
• RCEP agreement will bring emerging economies into collaboration.

3. Does America currently have special tax treaties with ASEAN?
• There are agreements under negotiations.
• There is an FTA with Singapore and double tax agreement with Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, etc.

4. Where so you see ASEAN going forward in terms of American corporate strategy in Asia?
• ASEAN is a third pillar after China and India to look at in Asia in terms of selling products.
• Future RCEP agreement will bring a lot of advantages and opportunities.