Southeast Asian Business Roundup

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Southeast Asian Business Roundup

Indonesia

The San Francisco-based taxi hailing smart-phone application Uber has announced it is prepared to set up a company in Indonesia, after running its business through representative offices across the countries in South East Asia.

The company is expected to be established by the beginning of 2016, and will be in compliance with Indonesian law. One of the reasons Uber has been compelled to make the move is due to several warnings by the Jakarta Transport Authority.

Uber has been carrying out its business via several representative offices across Indonesia, including Jakarta, Bali, and Bandung as well as operations in Bangkok, Thailand, Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Uber’s operational format has had criticism, especially from regular taxi unions, who have voiced the opinion that operating as an IT firm as a ride aggregator, gives Uber an unfair competitive advantage.

Both Uber and Grab Taxi have received warnings from the Jakarta Transportation Agency about operating a rental service with no permits.

Malaysia/Indonesia

Malaysia and Indonesia will invest the equivalent of US$5 million apiece in the initial operations of a new joint palm oil body, whose tasks will include stabilising prices and managing stock levels.

The council secretariat will be located in Jakarta and membership will be extended to all oil palm cultivating countries, including Brazil, Colombia, Thailand, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and Uganda.

The formation of the new joint council, called the Council of Palm Oil Producer Countries (CPOPC), took place at the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur and was witnessed by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo.

Vietnam

The Vietnamese tech giant FPT Corporation has announced plans to spend around US$50 million a year targeting Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As) around the world.

The company said it wants to accelerate growth through mergers and acquisitions. FPT Corporation has been engaged in doing one or two M&As each year in recent times, primarily to capture new markets and build up expertise.

FPT sees the US market as the stepping stone for it to gain a greater global presence, although Japan, Singapore and European countries are also part of its global expansion strategy. The US is preferred because, compared to Japan, for example, revenue growth is potentially much higher.

In 2014, FPT made its first foreign acquisition, taking over RWE IT Slovakia, which was rebranded FPT Slovakia.

The recent signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (which still faces ratification in the US Congress), involves Vietnam, among other countries, and FPT sees this as encouraging for its expansion plans.

 

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