Coopetition in ASEAN

Written by Anita Ferrara

This year’s theme of exploreASEAN is called Coopetition in ASEAN, a mixture between competition and cooperation.Coopetition describes that the ten ASEAN countries are cooperating with each other while they are also competing in some aspects, which is crucial for each country’s economical and scientific development. Education, training, HR development, IT, tourism, health as well as traditional areas like agriculture, communication, and infrastructure development are all areas which are affected by coopetition.

ASEAN countries regard their neighbour nations as co-operators, who work together to improve their economic growth. In fact, the level of support among the ASEAN countries has increased lately. Especially the Philippines have close cooperation’s with Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand for joint programs.

In terms of education, ASEAN countries such as Singapore and Malaysia can offer in-depth studies in sciences and maths, whereas Thailand, Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia are known for their ancient history.

In regards to human capital development, the HR experts of the Philippines cooperate with their counterparts in Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore.

Coopetition during the company visits of exploreASEAN

During the On-Site Seminar, we have been visiting three countries of the ASEAN region – namely Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore. We have gained insights into more emerging countries such as Indonesia and Vietnam but also a very developed country which is Singapore. The contrast of each country we visited was very interesting. In each country, we were invited for several company visits in order to gain business and intercultural experiences in Asia. One of the companies visited in Indonesia was Go-Jek, a taxi company with a similar system like Uber. This company is extremely popular in Indonesia but competes with a more advanced company called Grab, which is known in many other countries in ASEAN, whereas Go-Jek is not yet as established in ASEAN as Grab.

Another company visit in our second destination Singapore was Straumann. In terms of coopetition, Straumann cooperates a lot with Indonesia in terms of treatments. Many Indonesians will get a treatment of Straumann Singapore, as they have better facilities and more knowledge in this area. Moreover, exploreASEAN learnt that Hongkong and Taiwan are countries which are easily accessible, whereas other ASEAN countries are harder to access. The only way to approach these countries is with a niche concept. Hence, Straumann established many partnerships with competitors in order to get access in these markets.

In our third destination Vietnam, we were lucky to be invited to Schindler Vietnam, which was an amazing opportunity to get to know their competitors and co-operators. They declared, that in one hand Schindler cooperate with Jardine Matheson Holdings, a multinational company based in Asia. And on the other hand, the company competes with their contender by demonstrating and showing how the company works and try to be transparent to their customer.