Under the survey, US companies maintain a steady sense of optimism about the growth prospects and commercial opportunities in ASEAN.
More than half or 53 percent of respondents reported that ASEAN markets have become more important for their companies’ worldwide revenue over the past two years, and 78 percent of executives projected profit increases in 2017. Meanwhile, close to half of the surveyed companies (49 percent) expected to increase their ASEAN workforce by the end of 2016.
The overwhelming majority of respondents (87 percent) said that their companies’ level of trade and investment in ASEAN will increase in the next 5 years.
Notably, US businesses said Vietnam is leading among ASEAN member states in attracting investment from American firms who intend to diversify their investments or businesses over the next two years from China into ASEAN.
Enterprises involved in the survey said Vietnam has an availability of low cost labour, and a stable political and legal system, and the country can ensure issues related to personnel security.
Almost all managers reckoned that the business climate in Vietnam has been remarkably improved; however they also noted that Vietnam needs to make greater effort to combat corruption in the time ahead.
About 50 percent of surveyed American enterprises said the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community will bring positive effects for US firms’ investment and business in Vietnam . While more than half of respondents stated that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will impact on their investment plan in Vietnam and ASEAN in general.
They said agreements likes TPP can help lay the foundation for a modern and high-standard free trade area in the Asian-Pacific region.
However, they were concerned about issues that can obstruct their investment in ASEAN countries such as corruption, lack of transparency and trade barriers.
The 2017 edition marks the fifteenth year of the survey and the fourth year in which that data has been collected from all ten ASEAN member countries.
The US Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations. It works closely with 117 American Chambers of Commerce abroad.