Sustainable business in Asia

Sustainable business is not only a trend in european countries.

In some parts of Asia, and in different sectors, the word “sustainable” is a perfect ally of the “business” one.

You want some examples ?

Here is a short part of a very interesting article published on this page, which could open your eyes.

A number of markets in the Asia Pacific region present vast business opportunities in the sustainability sector:

  • China’s remarkable economic growth has had severe negative environmental consequences. As a result, China has prioritized energy efficiency and green technology. China’s rapid urbanization will also require tremendous new building construction, and the country intends to enforce green building standards moving forward. These new policies in both sectors can open up opportunities for U.S. companies.

  • Vietnam is similarly suffering from the environmental degradation arising from rapid economic growth. American companies and products enjoy a positive reputation for quality, reliability, and safety in Vietnam, which can translate into multi-million dollar opportunities.

  • India is in dire need of assistance in all areas of sustainability from infrastructure development to energy efficiency, and numerous opportunities abound for U.S. suppliers and advisors.

  • Japan has always been a leader in sustainability policy and technology. Japan offers opportunities in leading-edge, cost-effective environmental technologies and services, particularly in light of the tragic disasters of March 2011.

China Top 5 Business Opportunities

In this article, we will speak about thoughts found in China Law Blog, who presents the 5 best business opportunities, revisited, as they say!

Is your idea in this Top5?

Most of the time, old recipes are the best. For business, especially in Asia, China for what interests us, this is very true.

If this Top5 seems simple, that is because the best opportunities are most of the time in simple ideas, classic sectors. Being innovative is very good, but 2 thoughts about this before entering this Top5:

  • Innovation is less pregnant in countries/regions where classic and primary sectors are not fully mature ;
  • Innovation can be found in every sort of business, even the ones which seem very “old school”.

But now, lets go for this Top5, thanks again to Dan Harris for this brilliant article, which can be found in its entire form on this page:


  1. Education.  Everyone knows China is big on education and everyone knows China is particularly big about its best and its brightest (well, its richest anyway) getting a foreign or a foreign-like education.  So even though some aspects of China’s education business are shut off to foreigners, this does remain a prime area for foreign business. More anecdotally, our education clients, spanning a massive range of businesses, are almost universally thriving by doing business in China or with China.

  2. Healthcare.  Everyone knows China is aging, getting wealthier, and seeking to improve its healthcare. All of this is almost a perfect storm for those in the healthcare field.  But healthcare is a big field and much of it is a minefield of regulation, corruption and/or other assorted difficulties. Though no doubt this is overall a great field, it certainly has its issues.

  3. Food.  Everyone knows China wants better and safer food and I am an unabashed optimist about the role of foreign food in China. Without exception, every one of our clients that has fought through the requirements to be able to get their food product (of all kinds) into China, be that on their own or through a distributer, is thriving in China.

  4. Clean-tech/green-tech.  Everyone knows China has nearly limitless pollution problems and everyone knows that the Chinese government is concerned about that.  But this is a tough field for foreigners because it is one in which government connections are too often critical.  We have clients that have succeeded spectacularly and we also have clients with top tier products and management who just cannot (and will not) buy a break in China.

  5. Software.  Everyone knows China (like everyone else) wants better software.  The biggest hurdle I see for software companies in China is pricing.  A number of our software clients have told me that Chinese consumers and businesses are “not accustomed” to paying high prices for software and their Chinese competitors are accustomed to selling software at rock bottom prices. On the other hand, our clients that sell highly specialized industrial/commercial software seem to be doing just fine.

Myanmar: the new eldorado in 2017?

Myanmar is more and more attractive to foreigners, especially in a business point of view.

An unknown region, but a real potential

Even if Myanmar is quite unknown for many foreigners, it becomes a rising opportunity for others, and the best is to listen to a specialist.

Sean Hayes is a NY attorney, from IPG Legal, and has written this very interessant article on the Asian Law Blog. You can find the entire article on this page :

Myanmar is opening to foreign investment, trade and opportunities.  The next decade will see a far different Myanmar than we see today.  Prior to the present government, Myanmar was the second richest nation in Southeast Asia.

As experience in Southeast Asia predicts, these opportunities will be largely won by those that enter the Myanmar market first.  The best JV partners will be, largely, won over the next few years.  Additionally, the best concessions will be given to first comers.

A visit to a hotel in the capital, that just a few years ago contained only a handful of foreign tourists, is now full of foreign business people mainly from Europe, America and East Asia.   Some hotels are, now, fully occupied.  This situation was unheard of only last year.

At present, international sanctions in Myanmar prohibit most exports from the country, however, few imports are prohibited from being exported to Myanmar.  However, few companies have been willing to export to Myanmar because of fear that selling to the nation may harm companies brand image and the wrongful impression that few export opportunities exist.

Once sanctions are lifted, it is expected that American, European, Southeast Asian and East Asian Asian companies will follow the handful of companies doing business in Myanmar at this time.

It is expected that the EU will loosen sanctions early next year and the U.S., after the visit of Secretary of State Clinton, will also follow suit this upcoming year if the nation meets the promises made to Mrs. Clinton during her trip.   However, no reason exists to not explore export opportunities at this time and, also, start to contact potential joint venture partners.
The nation has large reserves of oil, gas, timber, fish, rice, and precious and semi-precious gems that have not been exploited effectively in decades.  The major challenge to explotitation, as is normally the case in this part of the world, is infrastructure.  The World Bank and Asian development bank are working on projects at this time.

The nation, additionally, desperately needs basic consumer products, industrial machinery, and skilled professionals in the service sectors.  The country has the resources to purchase these goods and services, but few are selling.

Getting employed in Asia in 2017: our ultimate tip

Avoid common mistakes in 2017

Asia is more and more attractive for foreigners who want to begin or continue their career after a first experience.

But hiring habits can be different there from european countries, with specifical things to know to avoid disapoitment.

Our ultimate tip would be to show the passion you have for the region, as asian, specifically chinese employers, are very sensitive to connection you can have with your new environment.

To demonstrate this, we recommend you these lines, found on It’s a perfect illustration of what a good approach can be, if you want to get a job in China, Asia generally, in 2017 :

Develop a compelling story and deeper connection to the region. Convey your passion to future employers about why you want to work in a region beyond the tourist’s adventure. Developing language skills or studying art or cultural traditions are tangible signs a potential employer might view as a commitment to the region since they often cross personal and professional dimensions. Demonstrate your interests in your résumé or CV over time—well before your job search begins. Such relationship-building experiences may be the key that gets you past the elevator pitch and a foot inside the company door.

Environment sector: an opportunity for investors

Everyone knows that China has big problems of pollution, as well in the air as in the water. Thus Beijing has reached record highs in the peaks of air pollution, which has seen well this year in the international media.

Another example a little crazy is the story of the thousands of pigs found in the Huangpu, or the drowned ducks, all this happened this year.

The government is concerned about these problems because the international scene is constantly pointing to China for its pollution problems. However, the authorities had displaced many factories during the preparation of the Beijing Games in 2008, or the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. But that was clearly not enough.

However, although this sector is conducive to foreigners, care must be taken because there are many connections to government in the community that can cause problems.

Investing in health sector in China

The Chinese population is aging, but also becoming richer. China is therefore seeking to improve its health systems. Health is therefore a promising sector for business in China. However, this area has some problems, notably in regulation, which lead to some corruption in the environment.

Moreover, the evolution of the health system must also adapt to the changing society. Not only is the population aging, it is also urbanized. Thus, up to 80% of government expenditure on health is directed to urban populations. However, it is exaggerated because, although urbanized, another 55% of the Chinese population lives in the countryside, which poses a problem for rural populations to access healthcare.

In any case, people’s health spending should almost double by 2025, from 9% of a Chinese’s budget in 2009 to 16% in 2025. This represents very good opportunities for the business.

As far as business is concerned, it is important, when embarking on the health sector, not to forget that some Chinese companies are competitors not to denigrate. Indeed traditional Chinese medicine returning to fashion, is still very important in some families, the Chinese do not always trust the foreign health systems.

Mobile development is the KEY for 2017/2018

With a growing number of people having access to the Internet via smartphones and tablets, it is now essential to offer a mobile friendly version for its e-commerce site, today 71% of e-consumers make their purchases On a mobile platform.

In addition, investing in a mobile version will allow you to learn more about your prospects and consumers with the geo location service.

Half of Internet users use a mobile phone, according to data published by GSMA Intelligence.

We can see that buying behavior is different than on PC, mobile purchase is more impulsive, so it is important to offer an ergonomic and attractive mobile version.