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For a newcomer to Asia, understanding its vast and diverse business landscape is essential but daunting. In a new report, Redefining Asian Business, global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills looks beyond borders and sectors to demystify this valuable region.

"Our lawyers are frequently asked to explain the differences between Asian businesses and their European and American peers," said Asia Managing Partner Justin D'Agostino.

"The report captures these critical differences and provides a guide to the region’s business growth and opportunities, written from an Asia insider's perspective."

Rather than categorise companies purely by country or sector, the report looks at history, culture and strategy to define companies into four super-blocs – the Old Guard, State Standards, Young Innovators and Asset Hunters.

Some of the companies in each bloc have been global names for over a century, while others have ridden the technology wave to be ranked top ten by global market value in under a decade.

The report also highlights other features of these Asian super-blocs – such as the comparatively high number of government and family controlled companies in the region.

"Understanding each bloc's culture, aspirations and issues will guide those working with and for these companies as their influence spreads even farther around the world," said Justin.

"Individual companies may rise and fall, but the huge, diverse mass of Asian business is not going to retreat and provides massive opportunities for those that understand it well."


Operating from 26 offices across Asia Pacific, EMEA and North America, Herbert Smith Freehills is at the heart of the new global business landscape providing premium quality, full-service legal advice. We provide many of the world’s most important organisations with access to market-leading dispute resolution, projects and transactional legal advice, combined with expertise in a number of global industry sectors, including energy, natural resources, infrastructure, technology and financial services.; @HSFLegal

With a 30-year history in Asia, Herbert Smith Freehills has over 300 lawyers and legal professionals in the region, advising clients on complex corporate, disputes and finance matters from offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta*, Kuala Lumpur, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo.

*In Jakarta, Herbert Smith Freehills' international counsel practise alongside our affiliate firm, Hiswara Bunjamin & Tandjung, one of Indonesia’s leading commercial and corporate law firms.

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For further information on this article please contact

Sally Greig

Sally Greig, Head of Communications, Asia

Hong Kong