Southeast Asia is the third most populated economy with one of the highest education and literacy rates. It is the focal point of global business expansion because of its highly-skilled talent pool.
It’s well-positioned to become the “world’s tech hub” for startups and multinational organizations.
The 11 nations in Southeast Asia have highly diverse cultures, ethnicities, languages, religions, and levels of economic development. So it’s not surprising that tech companies promote consumer engagement and boost revenue by growing their ecosystems in the area.
Let’s take a look at Greentech and Fintech industries. How do these global companies thrive in Southeast Asia?
GreenTech: the renewable energy boom
Southeast Asia is one of the top consumers of the world’s energy reserve. It is hardly unexpected that the region is turning up its capacity for energy transformation.
Given that the demand for green technology is increasing, the region is positioned to become a central hub for renewable energy development and investment over the coming years. It has surpassed other countries’ investments in renewable energy.
Greentech has an anticipated market growth rate of 24.6% between 2021 and 2027 due to growing populations, robust economic growth, and low renewable energy penetration.
By 2030, spending on fossil fuel power will be outpaced by investments in renewable energy generation, which are projected to increase by $1.3 trillion. In addition, the growth of small hydro, solar, wind, and other clean energy projects will supply energy to specific areas.
Fintech in Southeast Asia: half a billion heavy internet users
Southeast Asia is a hub for fintech innovation and a prospective market for cutting-edge financial products and services due to its sizable unbanked population and rising Internet penetration.
A recent study estimates that more than half of Southeast Asia’s 400 million people do not have a bank account. Moreover, about 90 million people are “underbanked,” meaning they have a bank account but no way to access credit, insurance, or financial products. In addition, millions of small and medium-sized firms have significant cash gaps.
Meanwhile, more than half of Southeast Asia’s 500 million internet users are under 35.
Hence, a large pool of consumers will drive demand for financial services as earnings rise over the coming ten years. In addition, Southeast Asia is a desirable market for fintech entrepreneurs due to its favorable demographics.
Singapore ranks top in this industry, with over 490 fintech, due to its strong financial sector and investor ecosystem, fair government rules, and reliable physical and digital infrastructure.
Talent pool in Southeast Asia
The diversity of Southeast Asian markets and the rapid growth of what they call “tiger cub” economies made it a prospect for expanding overseas.
Building resilient, diverse, and high-performing tech teams is still appealing in Southeast Asia. Hence, global business leaders search outside national boundaries to hire the best tech talent.
Here are some insights into the impressive talent pool that the region has to offer.
With 280 million citizens, Indonesia is the fourth most populated nation in the world, with a median age of 29.7.
International companies, including Huawei, Gojek, and Google, have recently joined the effort to support the development of the Indonesia’s tech talent pool.
It is encouraging for companies wishing to hire from the country known as the “digital archipelago” that there has been such a significant investment in Indonesian talent.
Indonesia was ranked as the sixth financially viable location for outsourcing business services worldwide in 2021.
The Cybertrend Data Academy is one such instance, which works with institutions of higher learning and businesses to offer data science-accredited courses.
With a population of 98.5 million, Vietnam is the eighth most populous nation in Asia and the fifth most desirable for regional business services. They have a relatively young population, with a median age of 32.5.
The nation has over 400,000 IT engineers, and its colleges produce 50,000 IT graduates each year. According to estimates, 46.5% have a minimum of three years of work experience.
Vietnam’s strong GDP growth, rising disposable income, and young population mean the country has a robust startup ecosystem thanks to favorable government initiatives that have helped the IT sector.
Vietnam’s AI industry has matured significantly after a protracted period of development from significant tech companies and startups. To gradually turn Vietnam into an ASEAN and international innovation and AI hub, the Vietnamese government published a national policy for AI research, development, and application until 2030.
The Thai government is vying with Singapore to become the next SEA startup hub.
The government recently increased its efforts under its “Thailand 4.0” strategy. This involves opening True Digital Park, which might be the most prominent startup center in Southeast Asia. The Thai government is also negotiating the details of a business incubator and park they refer to as “Thailand Cyberport.”
The Thailand 4.0 economic vision was first envisioned as a sector-specific, government-led plan to help the nation escape the “middle-income trap” and move toward a knowledge-based economy with higher value creation.
Thailand is the top choice for several technological industries with local advantages (tech, digital tourism, and healthcare).
The Philippines has been identified as a developing entrepreneurial powerhouse in the region since it has all the necessary components to drive business using technology.
A popular choice for many global businesses, the Philippines is increasingly recognized as having a broad pool of talented and proficient English-speaking workforce. More than 135,000 engineering and information technology graduates annually in the Philippines alone.
By 2030, the digital sector will contribute an annual economic worth of US$101.3 billion.
How to Build and Manage Your Southeast Asian Team
Employ Global offers HR-as-a-Service (HRaaS) to companies that want to explore new markets. We can help you with visa and immigration, international payroll, and other HR & Admin tasks for local or expat staff. We are headquartered in Southeast Asia and have the local knowledge to help you jumpstart your expansion plans.
Olivia Yu has decades of experience in the Human Resources industry. She’s the Regional Director for Asia Pacific of a famous international HR company. Olivia’s international experience inspires her to write articles about human resources and global staffing.