The most promising Asian countries for foreign investors

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Besides being a cultural melting pot, Asia can boast of its conducive business environment which has been attracting foreign investors in large numbers. Benefits of investing in Asia are many – including fast-growing economies, strategic location and access to a vast consumer market. If you're looking to launch your startup in Asia and thrive, here are some of the most promising countries for foreign investment.

Singapore

Singapore
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World-famous for its high standard of living and attractive wages, Singapore is without any doubt a top destination for those seeking new career and business prospects in Asia. Singapore has nothing to envy to European markets like Switzerland. It can boast of a robust economy, primarily based on electronics, chemicals, engineering, biomedical sciences, logistics and financial services, as well as a highly qualified and skilled workforce. Besides, the City-State has a dynamic entrepreneurial ecosystem and provides access to domestic, regional and global markets. You will also be entitled to low corporate taxation and state-of-the-art infrastructure. Today, Singapore is home to more than 10,000 multinationals from North America, Europe and Asian countries like Japan, China and India.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong
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A gateway to mainland China and Asia, Hong Kong is one of the world's strongest economies – which is why it is a top destination for foreign investment. If you're looking to start a business in Hong Kong, think of the many benefits like low and flexible taxation, investment incentive and policies, free trade zones, a highly qualified and skilled workforce, and economic, social and political stability. As one of the world's largest financial hubs, Hong Kong relies heavily on financial services, tourism, trade and logistics. However, countless opportunities also exist in emerging sectors like technology and innovation, medical services, environment and creative and cultural industries.

Japan

Japan
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Japan is one of the world's largest and most sophisticated economies. The automotive industry, electronics manufacturing, chemical production, food and textiles are some of its main economic pillars. In recent years, the expansion of the knowledge industry has been attracting more and more foreign investors, so you might try your luck if your project is all about research, development and creativity and innovation. Japan also stands out regarding the number of patents issued per year (more than 300,000), and its investment policies and incentives, including intellectual property rights.

South Korea

South Korea
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One of the world's largest economic powerhouses, South Korea is also part of the Next Eleven – which makes it a particularly attractive destination for investing or launching your start-up. The country has a diversified economy but relies mainly on trade. Family-based conglomerates still exist, but manufacturing and industries like textiles, shipbuilding, electronics, information and communication technologies are promising fields. South Korea ranks in the top 10 of the ICT Development Index and Bloomberg's Innovation Index. Investing in South Korea, therefore, means benefiting from a growing and stable economy, access to the global market and a highly qualified workforce, and many incentives offered by local authorities.

Taiwan

Taiwan
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In 2018, Taiwan came up 15th worldwide in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Report. In 2018, it ranked 3rd for its business climate according to the Business Environment Risk Intelligence index. Taiwan's economy depends on various sectors including information and communication technologies, telecommunications and high technology, but opportunities also exist in electronics, aerospace, medical services, and pollution control and treatment. Foreign investors in Taiwan benefit from world-class infrastructure, a sound legal framework, access to industrial clusters, a skilled workforce and attractive financial incentives.

Malaysia

Malaysia
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Malaysia can boast a robust economy and a favourable business climate. Financial services, information and communication technologies, wholesale trade and retail, tourism and healthcare are some of the most promising fields. By starting a business in Malaysia, you will benefit from a large competitive market with over 20 million consumers and a dynamic and productive workforce. In 2017, Malaysia ranked 2nd best ASEAN country and 23rd worldwide for doing business according to the World Bank.

China

China
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A developing infrastructure, access to a global market, a productive and skilled workforce make China an excellent place to start a business in. One of the world's and Asia's largest economies, China offers attractive investment policies and incentives as well as a favourable regulatory framework. Besides, labour costs in China are lower compared to other countries in the region given the low cost of living. China owes its growth and prosperity to various sectors like high technology, information and communication technologies, engineering, robotics, health services, etc.

India

India
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In spite of being a developing economy, India can be a great place to start a business in. The country provides not only low-cost skilled workforce but also a favourable business environment, attractive policies, an independent judiciary and a sound legal framework within a stable democracy. It's worth noting that in recent years the growing Indian middle-class contributed significantly to market growth. Besides agrifood, there are investment opportunities in a range of fields like the manufacturing industry and services including finance, business services, real estate, trade, tourism and hospitality, transportation and information and communication technologies, which account for 53% of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Thailand

Thailand
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A gateway to Asia, Thailand mainly benefits from its strategic location to attract foreign investors. Today, it is one of Asia's most promising economies with favourable trade agreements with China, India and ASEAN countries. There are many investment opportunities in automotive manufacturing, financial services, electronics, and tourism, to name but a few. In the past few years, local authorities have also been trying to develop the digital economy by attracting innovative start-ups. By starting a business in Thailand, you will benefit from world-class infrastructure, investment incentives and government support programmes.

Philippines

Philippines
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One of the most populous Asian countries, the Philippines provide access not only to a vast market but also to a skilled and productive workforce. Today, the Philippines can be described as an emerging, dynamic, newly industrialised market which is globalising through the expansion of trade. It's worth noting that corporate tax in the Philippines is relatively low compared to the rest of the world. Opportunities exist a range of fields including electronics, aerospace, food, chemicals, textiles, business process outsourcing, shipbuilding and information and communication technologies, etc.

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