Home Featured The Far East Markets Insight & Opportunities ….’Communication Fears Unfounded’

The Far East Markets Insight & Opportunities ….’Communication Fears Unfounded’

by Keerat

By Steve Parker, Owner & Director – Steve Parker ICD (International Company Development)


In previous issues of The Business Influencer, I mentioned how my 40 years of active exporting and international trade experiences proved an original belief, that relationships with and understanding of people, companies and cultures is the key to strategic global growth. In Issue 7, I promised that I would give my thoughts on opportunities in the Far East, forgetting at the time that the Beijing Winter Olympics would provide global focus on my chosen task.

So let’s give you an example, combining the above, of why you should be considering exporting to the region, rather than just importing from there…..

Every single curling stone used in the Olympics, was handmade in Scotland and exported there. Think about that for a moment and be proud?! Imagine how it would feel if your products and services were in the region too?!



I first went to the Far East region in the 1980’s and it remains as fascinating now as it did then. I enjoyed the challenges and complete contrasts of my regular trips, often starting ‘in KL’ in Malaysia and then including Hong Kong, China, Brunei and Singapore. All completely different in so many ways but the culture and communication issues can, with help, be overcome.

For the past 3 years I have also been director, for Enterprise Lab, of an ‘Internationalisation and Innovation Driven Enterprise Programme’ for the Thailand Government. We knew we could help with all of these aspects but could we effectively and comfortably communicate with each other?

It was one of everyone’s biggest doubts and maybe it is yours too? Our experience is that when all parties, all people, want to take advantage of global opportunities and want to form wonderful relationships and grow together, you always find a way and frankly, it becomes part of the fascination and the enjoyment.

Talking of culture, how I have missed in these past 2 years, the simple joy of exchanging business cards, holding them with both hands and placing them in front of us, in order of seniority.

I get market intelligence from all of the region in my inbox everyday and discuss it with my contacts at least weekly, so let me share some insight that covers most of the region…..

The Chinese New year and other regional variations, seems to have provided a joy, a positivity and a wave of hope for recovery.



As in the UK, there is a growing determination and a necessity, to ensure economies recover as fast as they can. As globally, the region has been equally affected by ‘freight and people disruption’ and workforce changes, including in some places, valued expat leaders returning home, sometimes leaving skills gaps.

Countries are developing a greater independence, partly caused by difficulties during Covid in providing medical equipment and essential food items and more. I have often heard chief executives of clients and others say that they don’t want to buy Chinese goods anymore, so that their economies are less controlled and influenced by the super power. They want to make and export products and services themselves. Getting the export / import balance right is a basic economics message, consistent in all my articles in The Business Influencer.

We need a conversation if you want to discover opportunities relevant to you, as I don’t have enough words allocated here, but some brief and simple insight from a few countries…..



Some great opportunities and you don’t have to be a large company to take advantage of them and to use innovative ways to protect your IP ( Intellectual Property). Inspection companies can be really useful if you are purchasing and having products made in the country. Consider cash flow implications and shipment timescales when assessing value.




Home of Petronas and some leading global companies and investors ( Battersea Power station for example). Growing manufacturing base for aerospace and high technology and has always been strong for medical and healthcare, food, ventilation and wider manufacturing but always opportunities to add to their ranges and help with UK expertise.



One of my former UK brands is still alive in Singapore so a place I am fond of and I am working with a healthcare and science company currently. Many products need SPSB approval but high quality and technical standards and understanding, designed to protect the population, provide opportunities to compete not just on price. Hi-tech development and manufacturing free zones offer potential too.



Trying to recover from a major hit to the economy from lack of tourism because of Covid but investing heavily in doing so, through entrepreneurship and innovation. A range of sectors developing new products and service expertise, supported by leadership and management development, so plenty of opportunities and optimism from my perspective.

As Mark Twain said all those years ago….’twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the things that you did. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour, catch the trade winds in your sails ( did he mean ‘sales’ too?), Explore, Dream, Discover.

Let’s have some conversations.


Steve Parker
07854 655397

Steve Parker has been involved in exporting and international trade for more than 40 years and started his first company, Steve Parker ICD International Company Development in January 2005, believing that most companies have the capacity to start exporting, or to export more, but for a shortage of time, money or expertise.

Steve works strategically with clients by advising, showing and /or doing. He works with clients in the UK and in various countries globally, including currently the Gulf, Thailand, Singapore, USA and Australia. Current work also includes directing and being an ‘expert provider’ on the Internationalisation and Innovation Driven Enterprise Programme for part of the Thailand Government.

Business always starts with a physical or virtual cup of tea.

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