Brunei is a politically stable, oil-rich country located in South-East Asia. In the year up to the end of June 2019, exports to Brunei from the UK totalled £97 million (ONS, 2019).
Cambodia is bordered by Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, with the Gulf of Thailand on its south-western coast. It has a population of over 16 million, with rising spending power predicted. Total UK exports to Cambodia amounted to £112m for the year ending June 2019, an increase of 160.5%, or £69m, compared to the same period in 2018.
China is the great economic success story of the last 30 years. It is a huge market for UK businesses in everything from technology to luxury food products. The UK exported over £23 billion of goods and services to China in 2018.
As one of Asia’s leading financial and business centres, Hong Kong has an open, transparent and competitive market. English is widely spoken. It has sophisticated financial services and distribution links, an efficient port terminal, a free port status and unrivalled connectivity to mainland China through air, rail, road and sea. Its links to international markets within Asia also make it attractive for re-exporting.
The size of India’s economy, now the world’s fifth largest (IMF, 2019), makes it an attractive market for UK exporters. Trade between the UK and India totalled more than £20 billion in 2018, an increase of 13.6% compared with the previous year (ONS, 2018). India has a range of exciting export opportunities, although success in this market can require patience and a longer-term approach.
Indonesia is a group of islands located near Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Australia. The country has a population of 269.6 million (IMF 2020), making it a large potential consumer base. In the year to June 2019, total UK exports to Indonesia amounted to £1.4 billion (ONS, 2020).
Japan is currently the third largest economy in the world with a GDP of $5.18 trillion (IMF, 2019). In the 4 quarters to the end of Q1 2019, UK exports to Japan amounted to £14.6 billion, an increase of 8.5% from the same period the previous year (ONS, 2019).
Decades of growth and stability have helped make Malaysia an industrialised, relatively open economy with consistent growth (IMF, 2019). Despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Malaysia continues to offers opportunities across a wide range of sectors for UK exporters as demand picks up for a variety of goods and services.
Mongolia’s economy has continued to grow since 2014, with growth expected to continue through to 2024 (IMF, 2018). Mining is a large economic sector for Mongolia, and the renewable energy sector is also expanding. The overall business environment is improving.
The Philippines has a population of 107 million people and over 7,100 islands (World Bank, 2019), offering a vast market for UK companies. It offers many export opportunities, and in the year up until March 2019 UK exports to Philippines amounted to £731 million (ONS, 2019).
Singapore is a small, but wealthy city-state with an open and trade-driven economy. It is a leading financial, shipping, and trade hub for the Asia Pacific region, and the government has a pro-business economic and trade policy. In 2020, the UK exported £4.6 billion worth of goods and services to Singapore (ONS, 2021).
South Korea is the 10th largest economy in the world with a GDP of $1,568,786 million (IMF, 2020). Total trade in goods and services between the UK and South Korea was £1.1 billion in the four quarters to the end of Q3 2020 (ONS, 2020). The UK has a Continuity Free Trade Agreement with South Korea which came into effect in January 2020.
Taiwan is an advanced, high-tech economy with a strategic location in the Asia Pacific region. It has modern infrastructure and its banking, insurance and securities sectors are being liberalised.
Thailand is located in South East Asia between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia. Thailand is the UK’s 37th largest trading partner, as well as its 48th largest export partner (ONS, 2019).
Vietnam offers many exciting opportunities for businesses. There is a large, young population and an expanding middle class. The economy is growing quickly. Vietnam achieved 2.8% growth in 2020, following 7% in 2019 (World Bank, 2021) and is on track to bounce back strongly in 2021. Proactive government reform is helping to open the market to international business.