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THE majority of the Australian business community in Asean feel confident about the future and many have plans to expand, a survey on Wednesday showed.
The Australian Business in Asean Survey 2016 found that over the past two years, 60 per cent of Australian businesses in the region have expanded their trade and investment and 86 per cent are planning to expand over the next five years.
AustCham Singapore president Guy Scott said this shows Australian businesses are recognising the opportunities across the region.
"Singapore is also well positioned as a regional hub with 73 per cent of businesses based here being global, South-east Asian or Asia Pacific headquarters for the company," he said.
The close ties between the Singapore and Australian governments also help to support business, noted Mr Scott, adding that recent developments announced under the Singapore-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP) will make it even easier to do business here.
This, as the CSP increases labour mobility, fosters innovation and reduces red-tape, thereby making it easier for Australians to work and operate in Singapore, he said.
And plans to establish a business association representing Australian businesses working offshore at the Asean level are underway, Mr Scott said. "Establishing an Australian Asean association will give us a seat at the table for discussions on policies that will affect our members, and allow us to engage the Asean secretariat around matters that affect the Asean Economic Community."
The survey is a collaboration of all the Australia chambers of commerce and business councils representing each of the Asean member countries.