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Exporting to Asia


Introduction    
Exporting to China Exporting to Vietnam Exporting to Cambodia
Exporting to India Exporting to Thailand Exporting to Hong Kong
Exporting to Indonesia Exporting to South Korea Exporting to Laos
Exporting to Bangladesh Exporting to Nepal Exporting to Singapore
Exporting to the Russian Federation Exporting to Malaysia
Exporting to Mongolia
Exporting to Japan Exporting to Taiwan Exporting to other Asia countries
Exporting to the Philippines Exporting to Sri Lanka World Comparison Rankings

Introduction

Doing business in a global market is possible, accessible, and offers excellent business opportunities. “Product design and tooling are expensive,” explained Bob Wersen, President of Interpower Group of Companies. “By designing a product for sale worldwide, you can spread the expense over the largest market possible.”

Wersen explained that to sell globally, the following must be addressed: mains plug patterns, mains voltages, mains frequencies, and national regulations. Most countries have their own type of plug pattern. Typical current ratings range from 10 to 16A, depending on the plug. Global mains voltages range from 100 to 250VAC. With universal input power supplies, this voltage range is not usually a problem. Mains frequencies throughout the world are either 50Hz or 60Hz. “All of the world’s developed countries and many of the developing countries have electrical safety standards and most have safety testing agencies,” Wersen said. In addition, Europe, Japan, and China have environmental restrictions on all substances contained in equipment sold in those respective countries.

“Some other good reasons for compliance to international regulations include enhanced quality and reliability of the product, meeting your competition head on, and peace of mind in knowing that you sell a product that is not only safe, but one that conforms to international expectations for safety,” Wersen said.

Choosing to export globally needs to be a well-researched decision. It is essential for those wanting to export to different countries to be knowledgeable in the desired country’s import/export requirements. Exporting to countries in Asia can be beneficial, but due diligence will be needed in order to achieve success.

The following Asian countries are featured in this white paper: China, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Russian Federation, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, South Korea, Nepal, Malaysia, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Singapore, and Mongolia.

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Exporting to the People’s Republic of China


PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Actual population* Population world ranking
1,355,692,576 1
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$13,390,000,000,000 3
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$9,800 121

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Exporting to the People’s Republic of China can present diverse rewards and challenges. It is essential to execute careful research of China’s business regulations to ensure success. China’s markets are geographically distinct with each region offering its own opportunities and challenges.

To start with, companies should conduct careful market research and due diligence regarding exporting to China. Market entry strategy information is available through a variety of sources, including through the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment. Consider different market niches to export to as well as learning what the product standards are for a particular region. Company representatives need to visit China in person. This will assist with learning the business culture and the people. Find a local business agent or partner and establish a business presence to enhance a long-term affiliation in China. Personal relationships are very important.

When exploring exporting options, market research and knowledge of business customs as well as discovering local connections are essential to achieving a successful business venture. For example, business cards need to be presented in a certain manner. Print them bilingually—Chinese on one side and another language, such as English, on the other. A variety of resources can assist in market research and in learning business customs. Among them are the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Several Chinese websites that may be referenced. One function of the Ministry of Commerce People’s Republic of China is to focus on imports and exports. The Ministry of Commerce also includes the Department of Foreign Trade (National Mechanic and Electronic Import and Export Office). Another Chinese resource is the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of PRC which has a number of major departments. Among them is the Department of Inspection and Quarantine Clearance which has the responsibility of entry-exit inspection.

China is located in East Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Mandarin Chinese is the official language spoken on the mainland. Other Chinese dialects and various local dialects are also spoken. Regions, such as Hong Kong, Tibet and Mongolia, have their own languages.

In China, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Chinese plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/china
www.gov.uk
www.China.DoingBusinessGuide.co.uk
http://english.mofcom.gov.cn
http://english.aqsiq.gov.cn

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Exporting to India


INDIA
Actual population* Population world ranking
1,236,344,631 2
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$4,990,000,000,000 4
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$4,000 169

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

A growing economy in India allows for many business opportunities to be available. With its large population, India offers a variety of choices for products and services.

It is important to keep in mind that India is a diverse country with many different regions and languages. Due diligence along with thorough market research and strategic planning are essential to increase the chances for success.

To learn about India’s markets, a careful analysis of the market area is needed. Distribution of products can be a challenge, but finding a reliable partner or agent can assist in that area. A suggested way to begin is to start on a regional level. Various resources are available to help companies explore start-up options along with possible company structure and legal considerations. Two of these sources include the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

It is also strongly recommended to know proper business etiquette in India. Research in this area will assist in building relationships which are crucial for the success of the company. Among the sources for such information are the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

It is important to know India’s customs and standards. Know what the customs requirements are according to the Government of India Department of Revenue under the Ministry of Finance. The Bureau of Indian Standards is responsible for the development of the standards.

Companies may also find detailed information about imports and exports through the India Department of Commerce under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. For import procedures, knowing what is required is essential.

India is located in South Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

Even though there are a large number of spoken languages and dialects within the country, the Constitution of India has determined Hindi as the official language with English considered as the business language. Each region within the country tends to have its own language or dialect.

In India, the voltage used is 230V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the India plug.

Sources:
www.gov.uk
www.export.gov/india
www.india.gov.in
www.business.gov.in
www.bis.org.in

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Exporting to Indonesia


INDONESIA
Actual population* Population world ranking
253,609,643 5
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$1,285,000,000,000 16
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$5,200 158

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of thousands of islands and hundreds of different ethnic groups. Indonesia has heavily populated regions which are contrasted with large areas of wilderness. It is the world’s largest Islamic nation.

Persistence and due diligence are needed when doing business in this country. While there are numerous trade opportunities available, there are also challenges to be aware of. Market research is essential for a company to be successful. It can take considerable time to develop business relationships which are crucial to establish. Learn which market is suitable for a product. Local agents or distributors are recommended. However, it is important to choose one carefully as a good partnership is vital. For assistance with market entry strategies, resources such as the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment are available.

Know acceptable business customs and meeting protocol, such as how to present business cards properly, not offering anything with the left hand, and other gestures which might be considered offensive. There are a number of resources available to assist, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Knowledge of regulations and accurate documentation is critical. Within Indonesia, the BKPM (Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board) has a specific procedure for investors to follow. There is also the BSN (National Standardization Agency of Indonesia) which is responsible for the standardization within the country.

Indonesia is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language for Indonesia. There are also a number of dialects. English is spoken and understood by many business people, but interpretation may still be needed.

In Indonesia, the voltage used is 220V with 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Continental European plug.

Sources:
www.gov.uk
www.export.gov/indonesia
www.bsn.go.id
www.bkpm.go.id

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Exporting to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh


PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF BANGLADESH
Actual population* Population world ranking
166,280,712 9
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$324,600,000,000 44
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$2,100 194

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

There are numerous trade opportunities in a variety of business sectors available for those interested in exporting to the People’s Republic of Bangladesh.

Extensive market research and due diligence are keys to success. Establishing a personal business relationship is crucial as is carefully choosing a distributor or local agent to assist in the sale of the products. Discovering the market opportunities and challenges will help a company in determining how to succeed within the Bangladesh business environment. There are different resources available to assist companies with market entry strategies. Among them are the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Knowing accepted business customs and behaviors as well as determining customer preferences can make a difference in contributing to a company’s success. For example, business visitors need to realize that men and women usually do not shake hands with each other and that Bangladeshi businesses generally require senior directors or managers present at meetings for decisions to be made. Two resources for learning more about business etiquette are through the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Investors should become familiar with the best way to do business in Bangladesh. For more information see the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority website at www.epzbangladesh.org.bd. To find information on beginning a new business, see the Board of Investment Bangladesh at www.boi.gov.bd and www.bangladesh.gov.bd.

It is also important to research what the customs regulations are in this country. The Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh National Board of Revenue is responsible for customs. Two other websites to look at for further information include www.export.gov and www.gov.uk. The Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution is responsible for developing and endorsing the quality standards used within the country.

Bangladesh is located in South Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

Bangla (Bengali) is the official language of Bangladesh. There are also other dialects spoken. English is common in the business community.

In Bangladesh, the voltage used is 230V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the United Kingdom plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov
www.gov.uk
www.boi.gov.bd
www.bangladesh.gov.bd
www.epzbangladesh.org.bd
www.nbr-bd.org
www.bsti.gov.bd

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Exporting to the Russian Federation


RUSSIAN FEDERATION
Actual population* Population world ranking
142,470,272 10
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$2,553,000,000,000 7
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$18,100 77

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

The Russian Federation is an immense country consisting of millions of miles and covering nine time zones. Business opportunities are increasing, but will require advance preparation and sincere commitments of time and resources.

Conducting extensive market research and due diligence are essential. The Russian Federation market is complex, so it is important to determine the proper markets and establish effective communication means. Due to the vastness of the area, many companies begin on a regional basis. Traveling personally to the Russian Federation is recommended to create and maintain appropriate relationships and communication. It is important to carefully choose carefully the distribution method, whether it is through an agent, a distributor, a branch office or some other way. It’s also crucial to choose reliable partners. To learn more about market entry strategies and business planning, there are a variety of resources to consult, including the United States Commercial Service, the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, and the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Federation has joined with two other countries—the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Belarus—to form the CU (Customs Union). The regulatory body of the CU is the Eurasian Economic Commission. Another aspect to note is that the Russian Federation GOST safety mark is being replaced by a new conformity mark called the EurAsian Conformity Mark or EAC. For more information, see www.gost-r.info/news-2012-09-13.php.

Some key components in communication include business cards and promotional materials. The business cards should be bilingual with company contact information on one side in Russian. The promotional materials need to be accurately translated into Russian using a quality translator. For assistance in determining the business customs, there are various resources to consult, including the United States Commercial Service and United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Custom requirements need to be researched as there are specific rules that need to be followed. The Federal Customs Service of Russia is the Federal executive authority under the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation.

The Russian Federation is located in North Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Russian is the official language. Within some business circles, limited English is spoken, but business is conducted in Russian, so knowing the Russian language or hiring a quality interpreter is needed.

In the Russian Federation, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Continental European plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/russia
www.gov.uk
www.eurasiancommission.org
www.economy.gov.ru
www.Russian Federation-customs.org
http://eng.customs.ru

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Exporting to Japan


JAPAN
Actual population* Population world ranking
127,103,388 11
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$4,729,000,000,000 5
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$37,100 36

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Emerging markets, an open economy, and a global viewpoint are just a few of the reasons why it can be advantageous to consider doing business in Japan.

Carefully conduct market research and due diligence. Creating a market entry strategy is an essential part of achieving business success. To enter the Japanese market, there are different options to choose from, such as working with a reputable agent or distributor. It should be noted that business relationships in Japan start best with a proper introduction. Visiting Japan in person is highly recommended as an established presence shows a serious commitment to doing business in that country. Have an understanding of Japanese business law and seek legal advice before entering into an agreement. A number of sources are available to offer assistance, including the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

Discover what the business culture is for Japan by learning about the proper business etiquette. Research in this area will assist in building relationships which are crucial for the success of the company. For example, learn the acceptable way to present business cards and what kind of gift giving is appropriate. For more information, there are various resources to consult, such as the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

It is essential to understand what the importing and exporting regulations are. For more information, see the Japan Customs website which gives procedures and the required documents necessary to import into the country. Another resource is the JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) website. It gives information on the laws and regulations. For more information on the standards in Japan, see the JISC (Japan Industrial Standards Committee) website.

Japan is located in East Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

The national language is Japanese. While English is spoken by many, it is still strongly recommended to have a quality interpreter at all business meetings.

In Japan, the voltage used is 100V at 50 and 60Hz. (Note: 100VAC is the lowest mains voltage used anywhere in the world. There are two mains frequencies—50 and 60Hz—used.) The most frequently specified plug patterns are the Japanese 15A plug and the ungrounded Japanese plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/japan
www.gov.uk
www.exporttojapan.co.uk
www.customs.go.jp/english
www.jetro.go.jp
www.jisc.go.jp/eng

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Exporting to the Republic of the Philippines


REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
Actual population* Population world ranking
107,668,231 13
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$454,300,000,000 32
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$4,700 165

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

There is good potential for exporting to the Republic of the Philippines. While there are challenges, there are also trade opportunities.

Different market entry strategies are available, including working with an agent or a distributor or partnering with a franchisee. Market research and due diligence are crucial for a company wanting to export to the Philippines. Numerous sources can be consulted for more information, including www.export.gov/philippines, www.gov.uk, and through the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry. The DTI’s website includes information on import services, how to start-up a business, and product certifications.

A huge emphasis within the business culture is on personal contact and doing business with people versus companies. Face-to-face meetings are the best way to engage in business activities. Enter the market through an introduction by an intermediary. Establish a pleasant atmosphere and strive to keep it that way through all of the business dealings. Knowing the business customs and behaviors, knowing the best ways to show respect, and knowing the acceptable business etiquette are all essential for a company’s success. To learn more about accepted business practices, there are a variety of resources available, including the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

Customs and standards also need to be considered carefully. The Bureau of Customs is responsible for import requirements and documentation. Information on customs regulations may be found at www.customs.gov.ph. For information on standards and knowing what the regulations are, check with the Bureau of Philippine Standards at www.bps.dti.gov.ph. Other website sources to consult for information include www.export.gov/philippines and www.gov.uk.

The Philippines is located in East Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

While the official national language is Filipino/Tagalog, English is commonly spoken and is considered the primary business language. Throughout the country, there are over 80 dialects spoken. It is common to hear “Taglish” which is a combination of Tagalog and English.

In the Philippines, the voltage used is 220V at 60Hz. The most frequently specified plug patterns are the NEMA 5-15 and NEMA 1-15 plugs.

Sources:
www.export.gov/philippines
www.gov.uk
www.dti.gov.ph
www.customs.gov.ph
www.bps.dti.gov.ph

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Exporting to Vietnam


VIETNAM
Actual population* Population world ranking
93,421,835 15
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$358,900,000,000 39
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$4,000 168

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

New markets are opening up in Vietnam which will give companies interested in exporting new business opportunities. With these new markets also come challenges that will need to be addressed.

Finding the best way to export to Vietnam will take market research and due diligence. Market entry strategies will need to be studied so as to optimize the company’s business success. Extensive planning and persistence along with personal contact are key elements. Consider two different target markets—one for the northern part of the country and one for the southern part. For assistance in these areas, there are a number of resources to check. Among them are the United States Commercial Service, the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, and the Investment and Trade Promotion Center in Vietnam.

It is crucial to know the business customs and etiquette within the country. Knowing how decision-making is done, how to address people, and how to set up business meetings are among the important business practices to be familiar with. Personal contacts are important and business relationships need to be established over time. The United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment are both sources for information in learning more about the essential business matters customary for Vietnam.

Standards, regulations, and custom requirements need to be researched. The Vietnamese government has specific rules that have to be followed. The Vietnam Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality is responsible for the national standards. The Vietnam Customs is responsible for import and export activities. Other sources to consult for more information include the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency, the United States Commercial Service, and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Vietnam is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Vietnamese is the official language of the country. Even though English is spoken by some people, business meetings are usually conducted in Vietnamese so it is advised to have a quality interpreter present at all meetings.

In Vietnam, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, contact your Vietnamese customer to see which plug is recommended.

Sources:
www.export.gov/vietnam
www.gov.uk
http://arc.ismq.org.vn/en
www.itpc.gov.vn
www.customs.gov.vn
www.vietrade.gov.vn

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Exporting to Thailand


THAILAND
Actual population* Population world ranking
67,741,401 21
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$673,000,000,000 25
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$9,900 120

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Thailand is a country open to trade opportunities. Discovering the market strengths and challenges are essential to the success of a company.

Market research, determining the best market entry strategies, and conducting due diligence are all crucial to finding out the best way to market products in Thailand. Companies need to carry out quality research in order to be successful. For example, market analysis, locating trustworthy local agents or distributors, and knowing how to find and keep customers are all part of this research. Visiting Thailand in person is highly recommended as an established presence shows a serious commitment to doing business in that country. Resources to assist a company, among others, include the United States Commercial Service, the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, and the Department of Foreign Trade in Thailand.

Knowing what is customary within the business culture is vital for success. Many business relationships start with personal relationships. In contacting a potential business, have a proper introduction to begin. The values of pride for country, reverence for tradition, and respect for age and authority are a huge part of the Thai culture. Knowledge of business customs include the proper way to greet people, how to make introductions, and the acceptable dress code. Business cards are an important tool to have available. Have them be bilingual including the company information in Thai. There are a variety of resources to consult for more information, including the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

Standards, regulations, and custom requirements need to be researched. The Thai government has specific rules that need to be followed. The Thai Industrial Standards Institute is responsible for the standards within the country. To learn more about the import procedures, the Thailand Customs Department has information available.

Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Thai is the national language, but there are also other dialects throughout the country. While English is commonly spoken within the business community, a quality interpreter is highly advised to make sure the company’s product and position are properly understood.

In Thailand, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, it is recommended to contact your Thai customer to see which plug is being used.

Sources:
www.gov.uk
www.export.gov/thailand
www.customs.go.th
www.tisi.go.th
www.dft.go.th

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Exporting to the Republic of Korea (South Korea)


REPUBLIC OF SOUTH KOREA (SOUTH KOREA)
Actual population* Population world ranking
49,039,986 27
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$1,666,000,000,000 13
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$33,200 42

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Two key characteristics when describing the Republic of Korea (South Korea) are modern and traditional. Both aspects need to be explored when considering business opportunities in this country.

Market research and due diligence are crucial in order for business opportunities to be successful. Knowing what is accepted within the business culture is essential. A personal contact is a key to a good business relationship. South Koreans prefer to do business with someone they have a personal connection with in some way. The best way to begin such an association is usually through a third party introduction. When conducting business, a person needs to be respectful of the Korean culture and society. There are a number of resources that are available to assist a company. Among them are the United States Commercial Service, the United Kingdom Trade and Investment, and in South Korea, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea and the Korea Importers Association.

While South Korea has transitioned into modern ways of living, such as the latest technology and telecommunications, it also still greatly values the traditional ways of thinking, which include age, family, and hierarchy. Knowledge of business customs is important and companies need to discover what is acceptable. For example, being late is not acceptable—it is expected that a person will be early for an appointment. It’s important to know the proper way to address people and how to present and receive a business card. Be aware of the Korean style when negotiating a business deal. There are a variety of resources to consult for information, including the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

Standards, regulations, and custom requirements need to be researched. The South Korean government has specific rules that need to be followed. The Korean Agency for Technology and Standards is responsible for the standards in the country. It is involved in international and regional standardization organizations such as the ISO and IEC. For information on customs in Korea, consult the Korea Customs Service.

South Korea is located in East Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Korean is the official language. It is also the accepted business language. While English is also spoken in some business areas, finding a quality interpreter is advised for assuring accurate communication.

In South Korea, the voltage used is 120/220V at 60Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Continental European plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/southkorea
www.gov.uk
www.motie.go.kr
www.import.or.kr
www.kats.go.kr
www.customs.go.kr

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Exporting to Nepal


NEPAL
Actual population* Population world ranking
30,986,975 42
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$42,060,000,000 104
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$1,500 205

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Nepal is a country that is culturally diverse with a rich heritage and century-old traditions.

Market research and due diligence are essential for a company to be successful in exporting to Nepal. Building a business relationship is crucial. It is important to have a proper introduction and then to make a serious time
commitment to creating and nurturing that business association. To access the trade market, use a local agent or distributor. Before choosing such a representative, careful research is strongly advised. For assistance with that and other business related matters, there are various resources to consult, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment. The Department of Industry, Nepal and the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry also offer information regarding business and industry.

Entering Nepal may be a challenge because it is a country that is landlocked—located between India and China. There are a limited number of airports, but there is neither sea nor railway transportation available. Road conditions may be poor or limited in some areas.

Knowledge of the acceptable business customs will help to establish those business connections. Knowing how to greet people, what is acceptable business attire, and the importance of business cards are all a part of that business etiquette. There are numerous resources to consult for help, including the United States Commercial Service and United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Standards, regulations, and custom requirements need to be researched, as the Government of Nepal has specific rules that need to be followed. The Nepal Bureau of Standards and Metrology is the national standards body. While internationally recognized standards are generally followed, the ISO 9000 series are not. For customs information, see the Department of Customs.

Nepal is located in South Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

The official language of Nepal is Nepali, which is also the main business language. Hindi and English are spoken by some in the business community.

In Nepal, the voltage used is 220/230V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the India/South Africa plug.

Sources:
www.export.gov/mrktresearch
www.gov.uk
www.doind.gov.np/en
www.fncci.org
www.nbsm.gov.np
www.customs.gov.np/en

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Exporting to the Federation of Malaysia


FEDERATION OF MALAYSIA
Actual population* Population world ranking
30,073,353 44
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$525,000,000,000 30
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$17,500 79

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

The Federation of Malaysia is a country consisting of different cultures and different ethnic groups of people. Located between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea, it is a country with numerous business opportunities.

Market research and due diligence are essential to entering the business community. Learning the best way to begin and conduct business is important, such as whether a company uses an agent, a distributor, or sets up a branch office. These kinds of decisions need to be made carefully after extensive research. There are a variety of resources to assist with market entry strategies, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment. The Government of Malaysia’s Official Portal gives information about starting, running, and expanding a business. The Ministry of International Trade and Industry in Malaysia offers Trade and Investment in Services.

Because Malaysia has various cultures and ethnic groups within the society, it is important to be aware of cultural differences and plan accordingly. Knowledge of the business customs and etiquette is essential, such as what is acceptable at business meetings, how to address clients, how to present and accept business cards, and knowing what is valued within the society. Personal contact is vital. There are a variety of resources available to assist in these areas, including the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

It is imperative to know the country’s customs, regulations, and standards. The Royal Malaysian Customs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia websites provide information about import requirements and customs regulations.

Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Bahasa Malaysia is the national language for Malaysia, but there are also a number of different dialects spoken. While English is an accepted business language, interpreters are still advised for business meetings to ensure clear communication. Have written materials translated into Malaysian.

In Malaysia, the voltage used is 240V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug patterns are the United Kingdom and the India/South Africa plugs.

Sources:
www.export.gov/malaysia
www.gov.uk
www.malaysia.gov.my
http://myservices.miti.gov.my
www.customs.gov.my
www.kln.gov.my


www.kln.gov.my

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Exporting to Taiwan


TAIWAN
Actual population* Population world ranking
23,359,928 52
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$926,400,000,000 21
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$39,600 28<

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Taiwan, also known as the Republic of China and Chinese Taipei, has strong business opportunities available. The country is located in an excellent place in the Asia-Pacific region to help companies expand their business worldwide.

Market research is needed to choose the best market entry strategy. It may be by selecting a local agent or setting up a branch office. Due diligence is advised before entering into any business relationship. Resources for information include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Several business resources are offered by the government of Taiwan. The Ministry of Economic Affairs, R.O.C. has a website which provides a business guide that includes information on industrial development, international trade, commerce, and guidance for small and medium enterprises. Another source is the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration website. The Department of Investment Services offers a website, Invest in Taiwan, which gives basic guides related to doing business in Taiwan.

Knowing the business customs and etiquette are essential for excellent business relationships, such as what is the appropriate dress code and when tipping is expected. Included with a formal business introduction should be an exchange of business cards. Since a business card is expected with nearly every business occurrence, have a good supply when meeting with clients. A number of resources are available to assist a company. Among them are the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Regulations and custom requirements need to be researched. Taiwan has specific rules that need to be followed. The Customs Administration, Republic of China website gives import/export information. Other sources for information include the Bureau of Foreign Trade, MOEA, the United States Commercial Service, and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Taiwan is located in East Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

Mandarin is the official language, but the Taiwanese dialect is also commonly spoken. English is a popular foreign language with many people being fluent in it.

In Taiwan, the voltage used is 110/220V at 60Hz. The most frequently specified plug patterns are the NEMA 5-15 and NEMA 1-15 plugs.

Sources:
www.export.gov/taiwan
www.gov.uk
www.moea.gov.tw
www.moeasmea.gov.tw
http://investtaiwan.nat.gov.tw
http://eweb.customs.gov.tw
www.trade.gov.tw

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Exporting to Sri Lanka


SRI LANKA
Actual population* Population world ranking
21,866,445 57
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$134,500,000,000 65
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$6,500 145

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Business opportunities are increasing within the country of Sri Lanka as the government wants to expand and improve international trade.

Market research and due diligence are essential as there are challenges for doing business in Sri Lanka. Researching market entry strategies are important. One of the choices to determine is whether to appoint a local agent/distributor or set up a company. Knowledge of the strengths, challenges, and possible markets can be found through different sources, such as the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

The government of Sri Lanka has a website (http://opportunitysrilanka.com) to assist in setting up a business, which includes several business guides: A Step by Step Guide to Doing Business in Sri Lanka, Doing Business in Sri Lanka, and another one called Doing Business in Sri Lanka. The Official Web Portal of the Government of Sri Lanka (www.gov.lk) is also a source for business information. 

Understanding of the business customs and etiquette are necessary in order to enhance the success of the company. For example, it is essential to have business cards. Courtesy is greatly valued and plays a part in establishing a positive business relationship. Not everyone is comfortable shaking hands, so wait to see if a hand is offered first. For more information, there are various resources to consult, such as the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Specific standards, regulations, and customs need to be followed. Sri Lanka Standards Institution is the National Standards Body for the country and is a member of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). To find import/export requirements, the Sri Lanka Department of Import and Export Control has information. The Director General of Customs is responsible for Sri Lanka Customs.

Sri Lanka is located in South Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

Sinhala, Tamil, and English are the official languages in Sri Lanka. English is the language generally spoken for business.

In Sri Lanka, the voltage used is 230V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug patterns are the India/South Africa and United Kingdom plugs.

Sources:
www.export.gov/mrktresearch
www.gov.uk
http://opportunitysrilanka.com
www.gov.lk
www.slsi.lk
www.imexport.gov.lk
www.customs.gov.lk

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Exporting to the Cambodia


CAMBODIA
Actual population* Population world ranking
15,458,332 69
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$39,640,000,000 107
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$2,600 183

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Even though the Kingdom of Cambodia is one of the least developed countries in Asia, it is ready for economic growth with an emerging market for business opportunities.

Due diligence and market research are essential for business success. Relationships are a key component to successful business connections. Working with a local agent or distributor is recommended because such a person can assist in market entry strategies. Check out potential partners for reliability and trustworthiness. Hire an international attorney for assistance. For help with business strategies and challenges, there are a number of resources to consult, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

The Council for the Development of Cambodia has developed a website that gives investment information (www.cambodiainvestment.gov.kh). Laws and regulations, a country overview, and an investment guide book are among the topics included.

Business relationships in Cambodia usually start with personal relationships. Prior introductions or personal references are recommended in finding potential business contacts. Learn the business customs, such as the proper way to greet others and the typical dress code. Those traveling to this country should have business cards and learn the acceptable way to receive and distribute them. For assistance with trade services and investment information, resources include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Standards and regulations for Cambodia need to be researched, along with the custom requirements. The Institute of Standards of Cambodia was created to promote standardization and quality assurance within the country. The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia is responsible for the customs procedures.
 
Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. Also spoken are Chinese, French, Thai, and Vietnamese. While English is commonly used for business, many prefer using Khmer in meetings.

In Cambodia, the voltage used is 220/230V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, it is recommended to contact your Cambodian customer to see which plug they are using.

Sources:
www.export.gov/Thailand  (note: Cambodia is included with the Thailand information)
www.gov.uk
www.isc.gov.kh
www.cambodiainvestment.gov.kh
www.customs.gov.kh

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Exporting to Hong Kong


HONG KONG
Actual population* Population world ranking
7,112,688 102
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$381,300,000,000 36
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$52,700 15

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of China. As one of Asia’s leading commerce hubs, Hong Kong offers numerous business opportunities.

Market research is essential for success. It is crucial to understand the business environment, along with developing an economic and market analysis. Due diligence is a key to all business deals. Note that the business environment in Hong Kong may be fast-paced, so companies need to be willing to respond quickly. Working with local agents or distributors may be beneficial because they can help to increase sales in both Hong Kong and mainland China. A free trade agreement between Hong Kong and China called CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) is bringing business to both regions, plus allowing foreign countries to invest.

A variety of sources are available to assist companies wanting to explore global options. The Government of Hong Kong has a website (www.investhk.gov.hk) which offers information about business opportunities and how to set up a company. Other resources include the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment. They can assist companies by answering specific questions as well as sharing market challenges, trade opportunities, and key sectors in Hong Kong, including current market developments.

The Hong Kong culture is both traditional and modern. Hard work and success are stressed. While conducting business in Hong Kong is similar to that in the western world in many ways, companies still need to discover what the business customs are. Business meetings are usually formal as is the exchanging of business cards. Know the proper way to receive and distribute them. Knowing how to address clients, as well as the acceptable dress code, are also points to ascertain. Numerous resources are available to assist in learning the proper business etiquette. Among them are the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

It is crucial to know what the import and export regulations are. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Trade and Industry Department can inform companies of the requirements that need to be followed. For import and export procedures, you can check www.hktdc.com/research and www.gov.hk/en/business/global/importexport. The Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department also has information on import/export and customs.

While Hong Kong does not have a central standards body, its policy is to follow international standards. The Hong Kong Innovation and Technology Commission gives information about product standards.

Hong Kong is located in East Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

The official languages of Hong Kong are Chinese and English. In the government, legal and business sectors, English is commonly used.

In Hong Kong, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the United Kingdom plug.

Sources:              
www.export.gov/hongkong
www.gov.uk
www.investhk.gov.hk
www.gov.hk
www.tid.gov.hk
www.hktdc.com/Research
www.customs.gov.hk
www.itc.gov.hk
www.tid.gov.hk/english/cepa

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Exporting to Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos)


LAO PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC (LAOS)
Actual population* Population world ranking
6,803,699 104
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$20,780,000,000 132
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$3,100 176

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

While there are market opportunities in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Laos), there are also market challenges.

Due diligence and market research are major components to entering the Lao PDR market. Company representatives are advised to travel to Laos in person as personal relationships are essential to establishing a strong business foundation. Finding an agent or business partner, who has an understanding of the local culture and language, is considered a primary way for developing trade connections within the country. Be aware that there is a cultural emphasis on caution and restraint, which means business transactions may progress slowly. Patience is a key element to developing business relationships. Assistance with market entry strategies and other business links can be found through a variety of resources, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Information for importers and exporters can be found through the Lao PDR Trade Portal. The Guide to Import and Export, sponsored by the Ministry of Industry and Commerce – Department of Import and Export, includes information about registration, prohibited goods, import license, and other requirements. It also gives information about a customs broker which a company can choose to use. Additional information about customs procedures can be found through the Lao Customs. The Department of Standardization and Metrology is responsible for the country’s standardization, metrology, accreditation, and related activities.

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

Lao is the national language. Many are also able to understand Thai, due to those two languages being similar. English is not widely spoken.

In Laos, the voltage used is 220/230V at 50Hz. Since there are several different plug patterns available within the country, to contact your Laos customer to see which plug is recommended.

Sources:
www.export.gov/Thailand (note: Laos is included with the Thailand information)
www.gov.uk
www.laotradeportal.gov.la
http://laocustoms.laopdr.net

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Exporting to Singapore


SINGAPORE
Actual population* Population world ranking
5,567,301 116
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$339,000,000,000 41
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$62,400 7

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

Singapore has been ranked first in the world for the “ease of doing business” by the World Bank Group. Even though it is not a large country, it is considered one of the trading gateways for the Asia-Pacific area.

A sovereign republic, this country’s legal system is based on English common law, according to the Singapore government’s website, www.gov.sg. This website gives a wealth of information about planning and starting a business, including a business start-up checklist. The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority gives information on requirements for registering and setting up a foreign company. Small and medium enterprises play a significant role in Singapore’s economic success. Grow Your Business is a marketing brochure created to assist in trade opportunities.

Assistance for choosing the right kind of company (such as a foreign registered branch or a private company) can be found through resources such as the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service. Many companies choose to use a local agent or distributor for market entry. Researching options can allow distribution in both local and regional markets.

Knowledge of acceptable business practices is also important for a company’s success, such as the proper way to address someone and the customary dress code. Business cards are essential, similar to other East Asia countries. For more details regarding Singapore’s business customs, there are a variety of sources to consult, including the United Kingdom Trade and Investment and the United States Commercial Service.

Customs in Singapore are regulated under the Customs Act and the Regulation of Imports and Exports. For more information, see the Singapore Customs website. SPRING Singapore is the national standards and accreditation body. A member of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization), it is also the Safety Authority in charge of consumer protection safety requirements and product certification.

Singapore is located in Southeast Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.

English, Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil are the languages recognized by the Singapore government. Singapore English is considered the main business language. Many of the people in Singapore are bilingual, knowing English and one of the other official languages.

In Singapore, the voltage used is 230V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug patterns are the United Kingdom and the India/South Africa plugs.

Sources:
www.export.gov/singapore
www.gov.uk
www.gov.sg
www.enterpriseone.gov.sg
www.acra.gov.sg
www.spring.gov.sg
www.customs.gov.sg
www.doingbusiness.org/rankings

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Exporting to Mongolia


MONGOLIA
Actual population* Population world ranking
2,953,190 139
Actual GDP (PPP)* GDP world ranking
$17,030,000,000 140
Actual GDP (per capita)* GDP (per capita) world ranking
$5,900 152

 *See the end of this white paper for definitions and an overall country comparison

While there are market opportunities in Mongolia, there are also market challenges.

Market research and due diligence are essential to entering the Mongolian market. Mongolia is bordered by China and Russia and has strong economic ties with both countries. One of the main market entry strategies is to establish and maintain personal relationships. Mongolians prefer to do business with people they know. Know who is related to whom when creating those business associations. Find an agent or distributor who can give direction about local customs and culture. There are a variety of resources to consult for market information. The United States Embassy has prepared a 2014 Mongolia Investment Climate Statement. The United Kingdom Trade and Investment can also assist companies with trade opportunities in Mongolia.

Knowledge of accepted business customs will enhance a company’s success. Initial meetings tend to be formal, with a proper exchange of business cards. Consider giving small gifts as part of the process and know how to address someone. There are various resources available to assist with learning more about business customs, including the United States Commercial Service and the United Kingdom Trade and Investment.

Transportation within the country can be a challenge because it is landlocked with limited air service. Potentially difficult traffic and road conditions exist in the capital city of Ulaanbaatar and in the country. Allow extra time for travel.

There are certain steps to follow in regards to customs. Check the Mongolian Customs website for information. The national standards body responsible for all of the Mongolian standards is the Mongolian Agency of Standardization and Metrology.
 
Mongolia is located in East Asia and is a member of the World Trade Organization.

The official language is Mongolian. While English is a language that many foreign companies use with their Mongolian associates, all legal documents must be in Mongolian. Other languages that are also spoken include Russian, Japanese, German, Korean, and Chinese.

In Mongolia, the voltage used is 220V at 50Hz. The most frequently specified plug pattern is the Continental European plug.

Sources:
http://mongolia.usembassy.gov
www.gov.uk
www.export.gov/mrktresearch
www.customs.gov.mn/en
http://masm.gov.mn

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Exporting to other Asia countries


The Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Burma) and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) are not included in this paper due to some countries having sanctions against them at this time. If you are concerned about the country you are in, please check with your local government agency.

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Conclusion


Doing business in a global market is possible and accessible and offers excellent business opportunities, but those wanting to export to different countries, such as those in Asia, need to conduct careful market research and due diligence in the desired country’s import/export requirements and be knowledgeable of the business customs that are followed.

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*Source: www.cia.gov/library/publications/resources/the-world-factbook/index.html

Country comparison—Population: Population compares estimates from the US Bureau of Census based on statistics from population censuses, vital statistics, registration systems, or sample surveys pertaining to the recent past and on assumptions about future trends. (July 2014 est.)

Country comparison—GDP (Purchasing Power Parity): GDP (purchasing power parity [PPP]) compares the gross domestic product (GDP) or value of all final goods and services produced within a nation in a given year. A nation’s GDP at PPP exchange rates is the sum value of all goods and services produced in the country valued at prices prevailing in the United States. (2013 est.)

Country comparison—GDP – per capita (PPP): GDP – per capita (PPP) compares GDP on a purchasing parity basis divided by  population as of 1 July for the same year. (2013 est.)

A comparison of all of the Asian countries mentioned in this paper

World comparison rankings by population, actual GDP, and actual GDP (per capita)

COUNTRY POPULATION RANKING ACTUAL POPULATION
China 1 1,355,692,576
India 2 1,236,344,631
Indonesia 5 253,609,643
Bangladesh 9 166,280,712
Russia (Russian Federation) 10 142,470,272
Japan 11 127,103,388
Philippines 13 107,668,231
Vietnam 15 93,421,835
Thailand 21 67,741,401
South Korea 27 49,039,986
Nepal 42 30,986,975
Malaysia 44 30,073,353
Taiwan 52 23,359,928
Sri Lanka 57 21,866,445
Cambodia 69 15,458,332
Hong Kong 102 7,112,688
Laos 104 6,803,699
Singapore 116 5,567,301
Mongolia 139 2,953,190

 

COUNTRY GDP RANKING ACTUAL GDP (PPP)
China 3 $13,390,000,000,000
India 4 $4,990,000,000,000
Japan 5 $4,729,000,000,000
Russia (Russian Federation) 7 $2,553,000,000,000
South Korea 13 $1,666,000,000,000
Indonesia 16 $1,285,000,000,000
Taiwan 21 $926,400,000,000
Thailand 25 $673,000,000,000
Malaysia 30 $525,000,000,000
Philippines 32 $454,300,000,000
Hong Kong 36 $381,300,000,000
Vietnam 39 $358,900,000,000
Singapore 41 $339,000,000,000
Bangladesh 44 $324,600,000,000
Sri Lanka 65 $134,500,000,000
Nepal 104 $42,060,000,000
Cambodia 107 $39,640,000,000
Laos 132 $20,780,000,000
Mongolia 140 $17,030,000,000

 

COUNTRY GDP (PER CAPITA) RANKING ACTUAL GDP (PER CAPITA)
Singapore 7 $62,400
Hong Kong 15 $52,700
Taiwan 28 $39,600
Japan 36 $37,100
South Korea 42 $33,200
Russia (Russian Federation) 77 $18,100
Malaysia 79 $17,500
Thailand 120 $9,900
China 121 $9,800
Sri Lanka 145 $6,500
Mongolia 152 $5,900
Indonesia 158 $5,200
Philippines 165 $4,700
Vietnam 168 $4,000
India 169 $4,000
Laos 176 $3,100
Cambodia 183 $2,600
Bangladesh 194 $2,100
Nepal 205 $1,500

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