Posted on by Victoria D.

With rising labor costs and a sluggish economy in the west, it makes a lot of sense for a startup entrepreneur to look east as a possible option to nurture a new business overseas. The number of entrepreneurs looking at Asia as a location to incubate their businesses is rising, and it makes sense then to understand the top locations in the East for a start-up.

Asia is a massive continent with numerous variables across different Asian countries. These variables include state policies, local traditions, and market and labor dynamics. Many Asian cities have modern city infrastructure that can accommodate international businesses very well, for example, remittances can be made across countries in a swift way today. Here are some of the top Asian cities for emerging start-ups, and the reasons why they make the cut.


Singapore is a rapidly growing city that has been described as the ‘easiest place to do business’ by the World Bank. Singapore boasts of a conducive policy environment, friendly labor laws and a highly educated work force. An entrepreneur also has easy access to credit, which is critical for a young business. The down side to this vibrant city however includes a culture that is risk averse and high overhead costs.


This Indian city that is known for technology start ups boasts of having the most engineering colleges in the world. Because of its numerous start-ups, Bangalore is often referred to as the world’s back office. There is no shortage of talent in Bangalore and it is a great place to set up shop if you are looking to get high quality talent at a good price. Bangalore however, like most Indian cities comes with the usual chaotic and often dysfunctional infrastructure that can pose a challenge to an entrepreneur, especially one used to the orderly manner of Western towns and cities.


Bangkok is also known as the city of Angels and is a wonderful place for an entrepreneur to set up shop. The city has an efficient transportation system, excellent infrastructure and a very tech savvy population that is also highly educated and very dynamic. Thailand also has a very conducive business environment and the law makes it easy for a business start up to thrive. The only downside to this city is the competition for labor and talent, which sometimes drives recruitment costs up.


This Indonesian city is more known for sunny beaches and for being a great holiday spot. Very few people associate Bali with work and start-ups. Nothing however could be further from the truth. The city has recently become a hub for digital entrepreneurs and offers great opportunities for collaboration and incubation of tech start-ups. The only problem is that you will have to content with a myriad of government regulations, which sometimes can be confusing and expensive to comply with.

Ho Chi Minh City

Located in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City is easy to set up shop in and unlike Bali; one does not need to face a confusing array of government regulation. The city is also teeming with top-notch talent and has a friendly, hard working population that makes getting things done easy. The cheap cost of living and cheap overhead costs are of great help as well. Only downside to this city is access to capital with poses a great problem to young businesses.

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