Earlier this month FrontierView, in partnership with International Workplace Group (IWG), held an APAC Executive Breakfast in Singapore. The event focused on how to navigate market shifts to sustain strong growth, designed to help multinational executives develop optimal growth plans for the region.

Director of Asia Pacific research, Adam Jarczyk, led the conversation on how the economic and business landscapes of Asia’s most important emerging markets will evolve in 2020. Despite moderate confidence in Asia’s business environment in 2020 based on our survey of executives in the room, there are serious concerns about inventory buildups, the slowdown in trade and production, and ongoing US-China tensions. Many multinationals in Asia are already feeling the effects, particularly in sectors that are linked to manufacturing – and it is only a matter of time until the feeling spreads across the globe. Jarczyk reflects on this sentiment:

I’ve heard Asia Pacific executives – specifically those at large industrial companies – express more negative sentiment in the last several months than I’ve heard in almost a decade.

In China, inventory-to-sales ratios have risen dramatically since early 2018. Additional uncertainty surrounding US-China tensions are compounding the effects of inventory builds. Additional tariffs remain a serious threat, so multinationals that lack internal alignment should put a response plan in place.

We recommend that Asia Pacific executives whose businesses rely heavily on export markets prepare for continued weakness among manufacturers and anticipate downward pressure on tradeable goods’ prices.

Special thank you to our event sponsor, International Workplace Group (IWG)!

IWG is the global operator of leading workspace providers. Our companies help more than 2.5 million people and their businesses to work more productively. We do so by providing a choice of professional, inspiring and collaborative workspaces, communities and services.