June 2014

Spotlight – In international business, almost every market around the world does things in a different way. This often leads to misunderstandings and unfulfilled expectations. However, different does not need to mean difficult and knowledge of the needs and characteristics of specific geographic markets is an advantage to those who are active in the global economy. These articles help you understand different aspects of the insurance industry around the world, enabling those who do business there to feel more “at home, abroad.”

Founded in 1967 ASEAN (http://www.asean.org/) now has ten member countries and is a major global hub of manufacturing and trade, as well as one of the fastest-growing consumer markets in the world. That said, it is one of the least well-known markets in the world. ASEAN covers a land area of 4.46 million square kilometres which is 3% of the total land area of the Earth and has a population of approximately 600 million people, which is 8.8% of the world’s population. The sea area of ASEAN is about three times larger than its land counterpart. The motivations for the birth of ASEAN were so that its members’ governing elite could concentrate on nation building, the common fear of communism, reduced faith in or mistrust of external powers in the 1960s, and a desire for economic development.

What things about ASEAN should we know but probably don’t? First of all, who are the members? How does it work? How big is it as a global trading bloc?

McKinsey & Co (http://www.mckinsey.com), the global management consulting firm, has whittled down the key facts and produced these in a study entitled “Understanding ASEAN, seven things you need to know.” We are very pleased that McKinsey has permitted us to publish this for you and this can be accessed at http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/Public_Sector/Understanding_ASEAN_Seven_things_you_need_to_know?cid=other-eml-alt-mip-mck-oth-1405

Any questions or comments should be addressed to Penny Burtt, head of external relations (SE Asia), penny_burtt@mckinsey.com