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14 January 2015

CIMB collaborates with The Economist to launch a special report on strategies of companies in ASEAN

More than 80% of multinationals ready for ASEAN Economic Community, only half of local companies prepared

KUALA LUMPUR: CIMB today, in collaboration with the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), launched a special report entitled "Re-drawing the ASEAN Map: How companies are crafting new strategies in Southeast Asia". The report, an independent management brief co-sponsored by CIMB and Baker McKenzie, is a timely initiative to prepare companies for the pending unveiling of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on 31 December 2015.

In addition, the launch saw the introduction of the “ASEAN Insight” internet content hub - a joint production of CIMB and The Economist - containing data, commentary and insights around the subject of ASEAN for interested audiences. The hub is located at http://aseaninsight.economist.com and will be updated weekly throughout 2015.

Justin Wood, Chief Economist and Director for South-East Asia at the Economist Corporate Network, part of the EIU, said, “We surveyed 170 business leaders running companies in ASEAN for this report. Of those companies, 76% now have a strategy in the region that is specifically oriented around the ASEAN bloc. Most companies in our survey are clearly taking steps to organise themselves around the unfolding economic liberalisation and integration in South-east Asia. Interestingly, though, non-ASEAN companies are much more likely to have an ASEAN-oriented strategy (81%) than local companies (only 55%). The big global multinationals are further along in recognising the significance of the ASEAN story and are positioning themselves to benefit from ideas like achieving scale in the region, consolidating operations and manufacturing, and exploring how product and service strategies, as well as sales and marketing strategies can be harmonised and regionalised.”

Dato' Sri Nazir Razak, Chairman of CIMB Group said, "The independent findings of the report further reinforces the importance of ASEAN as an economic region, and validates our decision as a bank to fully-embed ourselves in and across ASEAN. Foreign multinationals are very much aware of the potential that the region represents and local companies really need to step up their game. Generally speaking, local companies in ASEAN countries have an incumbent advantage but need to clearly define their strategy to both realise the opportunities and face the challenges of ASEAN liberalisation and the increased competition that this brings to the table.”

“CIMB has prepared for ASEAN. We have more research analysts on-the-ground in every country, a diverse staff force of over 41,000 individuals in every market across the region and the most extensive network of branches and ATMs. I would say that in terms of advisory, investment banking, trade finance, treasury and markets capabilities, we are best placed to advise any company located in an ASEAN country on how best to strategically leverage the potential of the region."

In closing, Nazir said, "This independent report marks the beginning of an important year for CIMB. We have invested heavily across ASEAN and even brand aligned ourselves with the regional community. We will do whatever we can, not only to support the launch of AEC but also to contribute to initiatives to ensure that it is an enduring success."

Chairman of CIMB Group, YBhg Dato' Sri Nazir Razak (R) and Director, Southeast Asia of The Economist Intelligence Unit, Justin Wood showcasing the special report ‘Re-drawing the ASEAN Map: How companies are crafting new strategies in Southeast Asia’ at the launch of the report and the ASEAN Content Hub. The report, a management brief sponsored by CIMB, is a timely initiative to prepare companies for the pending unveiling of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) on 31 December 2015.