A Spotlight on Trade in Far East Asia

A Spotlight on Trade in Far East Asia

Far East Asia is a growing metropolis of opportunity for any UK based e-commerce business and arguably is becoming one of the most important markets for international businesses. With the UK’s exports to China alone rising by 53.3% in 2019, this is a market that should not be ignored by any growth-minded merchants. We are going to delve into some of the market hotspots that should be targeted in the Far East Asia region such as China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand to see what areas you should be focussing on.

Hong Kong

Screenshot 2021-08-26 at 09.45.13  Hong Kong is one of Asia’s leading financial and business centres. It’s sophisticated infrastructure, financial services, efficient port terminal and free port status along with the fact that English is widely spoken makes Hong Kong an ideal choice of country to trade with. The number of e-commerce shoppers has been steadily growing since 2015 and the e-commerce penetration rate is expected to hit 72.6% in 2022. Some of the top purchased goods in Hong Kong are; fashion apparel and accessories, cosmetics, technology and electronics and healthcare products. One thing to consider when looking to trade in Hong Kong is the changing platforms on which consumers wish to pay, with a growing wish to pay via bank transfer or digital wallet, estimated to make up 48% of all online payments by 2023. Hong Kong is also the perfect gateway to mainland China, with links via air, rail, road and sea.


Despite Singapore’s small population of 5.8 million, their regional imports add up to hundreds of billions every year. The average revenue per consumer (ARPU) currently amounts to US$675.71 and businesses operating in the market revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2020-2024) of 9.1%, resulting in a market volume of US$3.939 billion by 2024. The most popular imports are travel-related items, clothing, footwear, entertainment, beauty and grooming with one of the biggest markets being electronic devices and media with a market volume of US$1.996 billion in 2020. Like Japan, consumers are hungry for high-quality premium goods and have a huge appreciation for quality service and aftercare. 


Malaysia has a young, growing population of over 30 million consumers and an e-commerce market valued at $4 billion. British brands are well respected within the country and English is the most widely spoken business language, so it is definitely a country to consider. Malaysia often records notable growth within its e-commerce market with a sales expansion of 47.8% in 2017 alone. The main products bought online are furniture and appliances, electronics and media, fashion and food and healthcare. 


In 2017, there were already 5,200 UK VAT registered businesses exporting to Thailand, but there is still plenty of room for start-ups and SMEs to join alongside larger businesses and in 2019, the UK’s total exports to Thailand amounted to £2billion. The countries imports from the UK are rising fast with increases of 6.2% and 8.6% recorded for 2017 and 2018 respectively. The geographical placement of Thailand is often one of the biggest draws for UK businesses as it opens doors into other regions. With close proximity to the likes of Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Thailand could catapult your business and help you expand into markets across Far East Asia. 

At Aramex, we offer a wide range of services across Eastern Asia, including land, road and air freight and express delivery. Our infrastructure and network of contacts in this region are huge and for UK businesses looking to ship to East Asia. We offer two different kinds of express services with priority express being our fastest shipping option with which your documents or parcels will be swiftly shipped and attentively cleared through customs to arrive on time at any global destination. Then for any less urgent or heavy packages, we offer Value Express, a time-definite delivery solution that enables you to ship and send packages around the world at more economical rates than Priority Express. Both of these are available across the region. If you would be interested in learning more about how we can help you break into Far East Asia, please don’t hesitate to contact us.