Despite current economic shocks, Asia will continue to be a key driver of global growth – so now is the perfect time for more Australian business leaders to become ‘Asia-capable’.

These are 2 of the key messages in a landmark new report Winning in Asia: Creating long-term value, launched last month by Asialink Business– the National Centre for Asia Capability and its project partners.

Based on 300,000 data points of analysis and more than 250 consultations over 2 years, the report answers a range of critical questions, including what capabilities Australian boards and executives need to help their companies succeed in Asia; whether Asian expansion benefits Australian shareholders; and which Australian companies have succeeded in Asia – and why.

It found that the Asia-Pacific region accounted for 42% of all foreign revenues earned by ASX 200 companies, and that Australia’s internationally diversified companies tend to outperform those with a solely domestic focus.

While the report found no ‘one size fits all’ answer for Asian success, it does identify 14 strategies for winning in Asia, along with a need for long-term investment and empowered teams on the ground.

It also found room for improvement in terms of ensuring the leaders of Australian companies are properly equipped to take full advantage of Asian opportunities.

Building on previous research, the ‘Match Fit 2.0’ section of the report found that only 7% of 1,705 ASX 200 board members and senior executives reviewed would qualify as ‘Asia-capable’.

On the other hand, the research did also find that most of the leaders reviewed had worked for companies that export goods and services internationally, and were strongest in their knowledge of Asian markets. They scored less well on their ability to adapt to Asian cultural contexts.

Speaking at the report launch, Asialink Business CEO Mukund Narayanamurti said that, despite COVID-19, Asia would remain the key driver of future global economic growth, and Australian companies needed to shape their strategies accordingly.

‘The report provides fresh, evidence-based analysis that makes a compelling case for why our largest companies should increase their exposure to Asian markets,’ he said.

The virtual launch also featured insights from report authors and senior business leaders, and attracted an audience of almost 1,000 from Australia and across the region.

Asialink Business partnered with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) and The Sid and Fiona Myer Family Foundation.

You can download the report here.

TIQ is a proud supporter of Asialink Business. If you’re interested in exporting to Asia, connect with TIQ today.

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