AsiaPac – Opportunities, challenges & low risk growth strategies

Date: Tuesday 28th March 2023
Time: 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Location: Beever and Struthers, One Express, 1 George Leigh St, Ancoats, , Manchester, M4 5DL
Cost: Free
Member Event
SME Club

Can you afford to miss out on the world’s fastest growing economies? 4.5 billion people, favourable government regulations, enticing tax rates, a growing talent pool and GDP growth forecasted at 4.7%, APAC could give your business a valuable source of new clients, suppliers and partners.

Join us on a whirlwind tour of Asia Pacific as we explore the ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ for successfully scaling in the region. We’ll take a deep dive into Singapore, Malaysia, Australia and Vietnam with experts from those countries sharing insight on economic trends, growth sectors, opportunities for UK businesses and tips for launching & scaling there. What are the key tax, legal and immigration considerations? How do you hire locally? What about IP protection? How tricky (or not) is it to get a local bank account?

We’ll also hold a panel session with businesses and professional advisors operating across APAC to share tips, tricks and some of the common misconceptions about doing business there.

Asia Pacific is a big opportunity not to be missed, let us cover the basics in this session aimed at business leaders exploring new markets, looking for alternative supply chains or considering export, FDI or M&A globally.


12.00 – Registration, Networking & Lunch

12.15 – Welcome by Acclime

12.30 – Presentations on key economic trends, growth sectors, opportunities for UK businesses and operational challenges:

  • Singapore – Yan Yan Ho (Singapore EDB)
  • Vietnam – Betty Gervasini (Acclime)
  • Malaysia - Amir Hakim Mohd Yusof (MIDA)
  • Australia – Andy Thompson (Austrade)

13.00 – Panel Discussion (DIT, Worksome, Acclime, GBG). Key Areas – Tips, tricks, and surprises of doing business in APAC.

13.30pm– Close & Networking

About the Speakers:

Nikki Foster Le-Grys Regional Director UK & Europe - Acclime

Nikki works closely with scale ups, SMEs and MNCs looking to expand, invest, conduct R&D or outsource to Asia and the US. Nikki has 15 years of experience working in high performing, dynamic roles across the public and private sectors. For the last 7 years Nikki has been focused on international expansion activities to support clients in accessing overseas markets. She spent 2 years living, working and travelling around APAC and now works closely with Founders and C-Suite across the UK and Europe wanting to maximise opportunities in Asia.

Annabelle Burton Group Company Secretary - GBG

Group Company Secretary at GBG supporting the Board on corporate governance and statutory compliance across the whole group.  Annabelle’s work involves maintaining solid governance at each of its global subsidiaries (Americas, EMEA, Australia and South East Asia) in order to help facilitate GBG’s strategic direction and growth objectives.    An accomplished company secretary with over 15 years’ experience working at board level in corporate governance, compliance and company law for publicly limited companies.

Philomena Chen Head of Asia Pacific - Department for International Trade (DIT)

Head of Asia Pacific for the Department for International Trade (DIT) and leads in Asia Pacific markets and sector lead on smart cites as part of the Northern Powerhouse regional team.

With over 30 years of experience working in Asia and in the UK, Philomena’s international trade expertise has been gained across various sectors including education, technology and service industries. She is an experienced trade mission leader leading on UK and Northern Powerhouse trade exhibitions and mission programmes to Greater China and South East Asia.

Philomena has developed strong collaborative partnerships and business networks with local business communities and across the globe.  She engages with Northern businesses and provides strategic advice, develops export strategy, and supports the growth of exporters across the Region.

She has experience of living and working in a diverse and ever-changing landscape which has led to her valuable expertise in encouraging business in practical and strategic approaches to doing business between the East and the West.

Philomena sits on Industry Advisory Boards in education and communities, and east & south east asia contemporary arts.

Helena Andre - Worksome

Graduated as an honours student from four universities in International Business and a Master as Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Helena has worked in six different countries which has granted her international knowledge and a passion for working with people from various cultures. After having worked in the customer success department in Denmark, New York and London, she became in charge of the global expansion at Worksome. Leading the expansion of this tech scale-up to EMEA (France, Germany, Ireland & UAE) and APAC (Singapore & Australia) in 2022 and currently, focusing on an international solution to serve clients across the world.

Betty Gervasini Partner - Acclime

An accomplished entrepreneur, tax consultant, chartered accountant, and Partner of Acclime Group. Founder of Finex, a Corporate Services company in Vietnam in 2006 and HR Forte Systems in 2018 a Saas Cloud HR Payroll system covering 8 SEA/APAC countries.

Awarded recognition by APAC Business Headlines and CIO Advisor in the quality of services rendered for global companies and Staffing & Recruitment in Asia-Pacific Region.

Amir Hakim Mohd Yusof Deputy Director - MIDA London

9 years’ experience with Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) as Assistant Director.

Attached in several division under MIDA namely Healthcare, Education and Hospitality Division, MIDA Johor State as part of Domestic Investment Division, Industry Talent Management And Expatriate Division and currently in MIDA London as part of Foreign Investment Division.

Ho Yan Yan Regional Director, Europe - Singapore Economic Development Board

Yan Yan is the Regional Director, Europe at the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB). Based in London, she oversees EDB’s marketing activities across UK and Europe, working alongside investors, corporates and ecosystem partners to support technology startups in uncovering and accessing new opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Yan Yan started her career in EDB helping Fast Moving Consumer Goods multi-national corporations expand their footprint in Asia. Motivated to share Singapore’s story with a broader audience, she joined the Brand, Marketing and Communications division as EDB’s market lead for Japan and subsequently led content development and branding for the digital technology sector.

Andy Thompson Investment Director, UK & Ireland - Austrade

Andy joined Austrade UK in 2013 following trade and investment roles at the Canadian High Commission in the UK. Andy currently works on inward investment in the fintech sector aligned to the UK-Australia FinTech Bridge. Andy’s previous roles at Austrade have included promoting inward investment in the ICT and cyber sectors and promoting Australia’s defence export capability to customer networks and governments in the UK.

Interested In The Event?

If you’re interested in attending, you can book online here.

For any further enquires about this event, contact [email protected]

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