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Doing Business in Asia

Singapore based entrepreneur Callum Laing provides an in-depth look at business opportunities in Asia Pacific

Callum Laing -TotalPicture interview with Peter ClaytonCallum Laing

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, "Fueled by arrivals form Asia, immigrants and their children will account for the lion's share of U.S. population growth during the next 50 years..." I wanted to reach out to a successful entrepreneur living in Asia to give us a perspective on the region -- and opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs.

Callum Laing is a 13 year veteran of doing business in Asia. He has started, built, bought and sold half a dozen companies in a range of industries across two continents. He is the owner of Fitness-Buffet, a company delivering employee wellness solutions in 11 countries and he is also the CEO of Entrevo Asia. He regularly writes and speaks on topics related to business. Callum is the author of the bi-Annual 'Asia Snapshots' (see links in side bar), and publishes a daily profile of highly successful, interesting people in his network.

One statistic from his Asia Snapshots Infographic: The number of Chinese women in senior management positions has recently doubled, with 51% of those jobs held by females, making China a standout in Asia.

Questions Peter Clayton asks Callum Laing in this Podcast:

Callum, thanks for joining us for a Big Picture Channel podcast on TotalPicture, give us your backstory. How did you end up in Singapore?

Tell us about Entrevo

You also own a business called Fitness-Buffet. What service or product do you provide?

Obviously, doing business in Asia is very different from other parts of the world, and when you speak about Asia or Asia Pacific, you're covering a lot of territory. So first, give us an overview of current trends and opportunities in the region.

What regions or countries welcome foreign investment? Where is it easiest to get started?

Continuing on that same path, where can you find a highly skilled and educated workforce?

From a business context, are there cultural similarities between say China and Singapore, or Hong Kong and Japan?

If I'm an entrepreneur interested in doing business in Asia, what would you advise?

What if I'm interested in working in Asia? How easy is it to obtain a work permit? What countries are most welcoming to skilled foreign workers?

I've often been told by recruiters that you need to use a much different approach to recruiting when hiring in Asia. Can you give us an overview of how recruiting is done? And again I asume there are different approaches one needs to take in Japan vs say, Viet Nam.

You recently published an infographic called Asia Snapshot. Here's one stat that might surprise people: The number of Chinese women in senior management positions has recently doubled, with 51% of those jobs held by females, making China a standout in Asia. Tell us more...

Talk to us about VC funding in Asia.

You highlight Singapore as "one of the best places to do business. What makes it so?

Talk to us about mobile. According to your infographic, Asian countries have the highest rate of internet users who go online exclusively using a smartphone.

What's the best piece of advice you ever received?

Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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