With Asian economies growing rapidly, family businesses have been urged to seize the opportunities offered by the region.
Speaking at a Family Business Network International conference, Teo Chee Hean, Singapore’s deputy prime minister, said the time is now ripe for family businesses to take advantage of “potential sources of growth” in Asia.
“With storm clouds hovering over the eurozone and the US, economic growth in many advanced economies has stalled and may remain stagnant or low for some time. Asia has emerged as a key global engine of growth,” he said.
He referenced a recent Credit Suisse study, which found that family businesses accounted for half of the listed companies and a third of total market capitalisation in 10 Asian economies.
The same study also found that family businesses outperformed their local benchmarks in the majority of Asian markets between 2000 to 2010, with a compound annual growth rate of 13.7%.
“This is quite an achievement, considering the economic turmoil that we have seen in the past decade, including the bursting of the internet bubble in 2002/2003 and the global financial crisis in 2008/2009,” he added.
Teo also called on family-run companies to “give back to society” by focusing on corporate social responsibility initiatives and philanthropy.