ASEAN Business Outlook Survey 2019: Leading a Resilient and Innovative ASEAN, Singapore Edition

Now in its 17th year, the ASEAN Business Outlook Survey is as a key barometer of U.S. business sentiment in Southeast Asia. It offers insights into opportunities and challenges facing mainly American enterprises in the region, and serves as a valuable resource for governments, academia, and non-governmental organizations.


The 2019 survey focuses on Singapore’s Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2018, which was on the twin themes of “resilience” and “innovation,” vowing to promote region-wide advancement, cooperation toward economic integration and improving security competencies.


The survey finds that:


  • ASEAN markets will continue to remain important for American companies as trade and investment in the region rises steadily, and profit outlooks remain positive.
  • American companies across ASEAN are feeling the effect of the U.S. withdrawal from TPP. A majority of American companies in ASEAN anticipate bilateral ties between ASEAN and China to deepen, as China continues to court these markets.
  • American companies throughout ASEAN actively invest in local communities through their hiring practices – at least 70% of workforces across the region comprises of host country nationals.
  • Companies remain optimistic of ASEAN as a business destination, with an increasing percentage of surveyed companies expecting their profits to increase as compared to two years ago.
  • Increasing dissatisfaction of ASEAN as a business environment is driven by the lack of availability of low cost labor, high office lease costs, and high housing costs – meaning that ASEAN’s own success has caused dissatisfaction as cost increases affect companies’ bottom lines.
  • Singapore remains a valuable regional hub for American businesses – more than half of respondents in Singapore plan to expand their operations locally.
  • Respondents across ASEAN identified Vietnam as the top country for further expansion, followed by Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.


Download the full press release.

Download the 2019 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey (PDF).




To view the 2018 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, click here.

To view the 2017 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, click here.
To view the 2016 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, click here.
To view the 2015 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, click here.
To view the 2014 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, click here.
To view the 2012/2013 ASEAN Business Outlook Survey, click here.



To find out more about how the ASEAN Business Outlook Survey 2019 is being cited, click the links below:



March 2019

US businesses in Singapore Market Survey Online


April 2, 2019

Foreign direct investments from the US to Singapore hit over $244b Danielle Isaac, Singapore Business Review



March 15, 2019

Launch of ASEAN Business Outlook Survey and its findings (Video) Channel News Asia



March 14, 2019

S’pore-based US firms confident about Asean growth potential TradePost USA


Asean increasingly important to US firms: AmCham survey Janice Heng, The Business Times



March 13, 2019

US firms less satisfied with business environment in Asean but region still a vital market: Survey Janice Lim, TODAYonline


US private sector ‘indispensable partner’ in region’s growth: Vivian Balakrishnan The Straits Times


US private sector is ‘indispensable partner’ in growth: Vivian Balakrishnan The Business Times


US businesses in Singapore very confident about growth potential in Asean: Survey Derek Wong, The Straits Times