The phrase “Made in China” is arguably cliche but maybe not for long – the country’s rising labor costs over the past decade are driving production to Southeast Asia.
Southeast Asia comprises countries have their own tech landscapes and the blanket regional title doesn’t really do it justice. In general, where there is ecommerce, there’s room for logistics and industry help in these four countries.
Infrastructure is less of a problem in Singapore, where the tech landscape is much different and the geography is much smaller. A report by Singapore’s Economic Development Board points out that while manufacturing is a “key pillar” of Singapore’s economy – around a fourth or a fifth of the GDP – the high labor cost and land constraints may make people look for somewhere they can get more bang for their buck.
Still, Singapore’s government is worried about the country’s underwhelming labor productivity, and it has thrown funding and support behind initiatives seeking to kick the city-state’s AI game into gear. Other programs focus on analytics, robotics, and self-driving vehicles, to name a few.
Despite Indonesia’s startup successes, it still has growth potential. The country, home to companies like Alibaba-backed ecommerce company Tokopedia and on-demand rides and services unicorn Go-Jek, still has room for logistics and analytics companies to streamline areas including ecommerce and utilities.
The country seeks solutions for infrastructure hiccups. Heavily populated cities in the region like Jakarta can have a lot of traffic congestion, which makes last-mile delivery challenging. If they get logistics right, it means industrial tools can reach companies and the government’s industrial projects more easily.
Meanwhile, in Vietnam, the site of end assembly for a lot of electronics, export-oriented manufacturing has exploded over the past decade, leaving the door wide open for industry tech.
The cost of labor is much lower – software engineers can make a salary of US$1,000 with three years of experience.
The country’s burgeoning startup ecosystem is supported by the government, which seeks to help 1,000 startups and projects by 2020 through an information portal, support for incubators and accelerators, exposure to like-minded companies and mentors, and policy initiatives.
(Indonesia’s government also pledged to support 1,000 startups – but mostly in spirit.)
Nevertheless, infrastructure is an issue that the government needs to work on. Profits can be decreased due to traffic congestion: increased delivery times raise manufacturing costs.
Thailand’s startup ecosystem is also relatively nascent but has support. The nation is projected to go through its own tech renaissance this year.
Robotics, aerospace, and auto industries are expected to be the government’s key focuses.
That’s just a small snapshot of the activity happening in the region – and the need for improvement and growth.
A new funding opportunity brings a region-wide network to the table. Bangkok-based AddVentures, the corporate venture arm of SCG (The Siam Cement PCL), hopes to give Southeast Asia a boost, particularly in industrial production.
SCG’s been around since 1913 – over a hundred years – and one of its focuses now is channeling its years of expertise and resources into fueling industrial tech, marketplaces between businesses, and enterprise tech. SCG’s network extends through Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia.
In other words, if your startup’s technology fits, AddVentures can help you scale. That includes, but is not limited to, smart manufacturing, robotics, automation, energy efficiency tech, logistics, predictive analytics, and ecommerce enablement.
Does your startup solve problems in industrial tech? Are you a startup or VC looking for that extra push into the Southeast Asian market? Send over your pitch deck and other relevant information about your business – email AddVentures at firstname.lastname@example.org or message them through their Facebook page.
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