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INSIGHTS | Southeast Asia: A choice between two models

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Michael Lofton
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On June 21, leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) met in Bangkok.

One large item on the agenda: how to maintain relationships with rivals US and China.

My second year attending the conference and my second time in Southeast Asia, I found myself discovering firsthand what many had told me before: the region is poised to see its tech industry grow faster than anywhere else in the world.

For many years, entrepreneurs and VCs in China have talked about the opportunities presented by SEA with many saying the region is like China 10 years ago.

Now enjoying catch-up growth, the region is both poised for fast development—and gets to start fresh with little infrastructure, or dominant players, set in stone.

The region will not follow the same path, or use the same companies, but the way it is like China 10 years ago is that it’s choosing among models that have gone before.

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Michael Lofton
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