Top 10 Cities in Asia You Have Never Thought Of Starting A Business In

In recent years, Asia has been getting a lot of attention, especially in the business world. A major factor behind this is the developing economy in the continent. Asia is home to many start-up companies in search of new opportunities. When you hear the words ‘starting a business in Asia’, well-established cities such as Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Singapore and Beijing inevitably come to mind. However, there are many other alternatives that may take you by surprise. Here, Top 10 of Asia takes a look at the Asian cities (presented in no particular order) that you may never have considered starting a business in and why they should make it to your list in due course.

  1. Bangalore, India

    India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is known for its booming IT industry. The International Monetary Fund forecasts India to become one of the top 5 largest economies by the year 2020. Bangalore is a city that’s less often discussed compared to the other big cities such as Mumbai. While the city is still making improvements on the issues of traffic and civic services, Bangalore, also known as the Silicon Valley of India, does have great potential to attract start-up companies. It gained that nickname after being compared to the original Silicon Valley in California which is home to many hi-tech IT-based corporations. In terms of attracting talent, having strong real estate markets and good health care services, Bangalore can be one of the future faces of India.

  2. Bali, Indonesia

    While Bali usually gets a good reputation for having a beautiful environment for relaxation and friendly local Balinese community, it is often overlooked as being a good hub for business. Along with living costs, rent is incredibly cheap and this attracts many independent entrepreneurs. Its infrastructure and IT have made considerable improvements within the past decade and the city now has many more varied facilities. Despite having the occasional strict regulations, it can be said that businesses in Bali can be launched with more ease than most other cities in the world.

  3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, is a city full of hustle and bustle. It is the center of economic activities, outperforming other cities in Vietnam. Just like many other cities in Asia, its economy has been growing rapidly and the city has been attracting a lot of foreign business start-ups. With its strategic location in the heart of Southeast Asia, modern infrastructure, and growing opportunities, this urban city may be a worthwhile place for young, ambitious and aspiring start-up businesses to take off.

  4. Manila, Philippines

    One of the best aspects of Manila is that it is a melting pot of many different backgrounds and cultures. It is not uncommon to see many foreign faces owning businesses in Manila. Filipinos are well-known for their hospitality and welcoming personalities. Besides that, is has also become a center for economic growth within recent years. While you don’t have to spend a fortune for living costs like other major business hubs, it provides a good quality of life. There also plenty of local citizens who would be happy to work for your company without demanding a high salary.

  5. Penang, Malaysia

    Many will agree that Malaysia is one of the top destinations in the world for tourists. However, it is also an excellent spot for starting a business. With that being said, it is under the assumption that businesses are more inclined to larger and more popular cities, such as Kuala Lumpur. While that may be true, Penang is more relaxed and hassle-free. Escaping the unavoidable traffic in the city of Kuala Lumpur during peak times, Penang would be a better choice for business people who prefer a more relaxed atmosphere, but also enjoying the country’s business advantages such as low rental costs, developing infrastructure, friendly locals, and strategic location.

  6. Osaka, Japanosaka

    Highly-skilled and top level technologies can be found in not only Tokyo, but also in the smaller city of Osaka. Cost of living in Osaka is slightly lower compared to Tokyo, but still relatively high in comparison with other cities on the list. However, the long list of pros overweighs the cons. The Japanese cultures comprise very efficient business etiquettes. The public transport system is spot on and provides a remarkable service. The people also have a very high level of respect and humility in the workplace, which is the best attitude you can ask for when it comes to business partners or colleagues.

  7. Busan, South Koreabusan

    South Korea is a welcoming place for business-minded people. Busan, the second largest city in South Korea, provides a great business environment with many financial advantages. Apart from their low rental expenses, there are also corporate tax benefits depending on the size of the investment. The city has shown significant improvements in recent years, benefitting businesses as it does. However, it might take a while for one to become familiar with the business culture there.

  8. Taipei, Taiwan

    Surprisingly, Taipei can be placed among the big cities like Singapore and Hong Kong. Its rapid growth and industrialization has made Taiwan a city to be reckoned with. The government has also executed a very business-friendly environment. There are very few restrictions, and the government makes available grants, which can also be given to foreigners. It is also a stable and democratic country. Many will also find the infrastructure beyond their expectations. With all these factors in place, Taipei can be classified as one of the current top cities for business-minded people.

  9. Surabaya, Indonesia

    Just like Bali, one can live comfortably in Surabaya without having to worry about cost. Living costs are low and the same can be said about rent. Tri Rismaharini, the mayor of Surabaya, has been making efforts to encourage business ventures in the city. She has made it easier for business permits and trading licenses to be obtained, whereby those interested can get to even print out the licenses by themselves through mobile apps. Surabaya is also a city rich with human resources and has been regarded as a top destination for investment.

  10. Bangkok, Thailandbangkok

    Bangkok is home to many tourists all year round. However, it also attracts entrepreneurs from all over the world. Bangkok has low corporate income tax rates and additional tax incentives such as reduction of import duties brought into the city for business, which are key factors in attracting many start-up companies. Its strategic location also comes to play as there are many financial institutions and commercial banking centres within reach.

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