Corporate & Business Development

Southeast Asia is experiencing enormous economic growth. But even for multinational companies (MNCs), the region is still not well understood and MNCs are struggling to succeed. Reasons for that are cultural differences, on the one hand, and the fast-changing environment, on the other hand.  On top of that, managers are often challenged by significant cultural differences that exist within the Southeast Asian countries and the competition from local champions. The course "Corporate and Business Development in Southeast Asia" taught by Dr. Christine Scheef offers an opportunity to get to know the particularities of the Asian markets in more detail.

Course content

Southeast Asia has been gaining impressive economic growth and generating numerous opportunities for multinational companies (MNCs). The region has performed well in the recent global financial crisis and is one of the most important growth markets. Yet, the business environment in the region is diverse and for Western MNCs the business context is significantly different from that of Western countries. Further, an increasing number of local MNCs emerge that aim at expanding their businesses and constitute increasing competition for Western MNCs. If you want to learn more about doing business in Southeast Asia and if you are convinced that Asia is the world’s next economic powerhouse, this course should be of interest to you.

To better understand doing business in Southeast Asia, one contingent factor needs to be considered: The different business systems within Southeast Asia. Thus, the first part of the course analyzes the business environment across Southeast Asian countries and critically discusses growth opportunities and challenges within the region. It addresses topics such as cultural influences, business networks, and the role of governments. The second part of the course then focuses on the corporate development activities of MNCs in the region. Students will, for example, learn about MNCs internationalization strategies and positioning in the Southeast Asian markets and the selection of regional corporate headquarters’ location. Taking a local perspective, the course also studies Southeast Asian MNCs and their internationalization.

Read here about last year’s course.

Course structure

The 6-day course will be taught during the “Autumn mid-term breakʺ in Singapore at the St.Gallen Institute of Management in Asia.

The course is structured in such a way, that it relies not only on formal lectures but also on case studies, recent research studies, and insights from industry experts as well as study trips to corporate partners. Thus, the lecture combines classic in class teaching with a study mission character. Students will get a close exposure towards local subsidiaries and regional headquarters of MNCs in Singapore. In addition, several extra curriculum activities will be offered in order to expose the participants to Singapore and foster their understanding of the Asian cultures.

For further information and to find out when the next course takes place, please refer to the course information sheet on the HSG website under course directory.

Application procedure and cost

The course is open to students from the MUG program of the University of St.Gallen. There are a total of 20 seats available, which will be assigned by a special application process (no bidding). For further information on the application procedure, please approach Dr. Christine Scheef directly.

The course will be during the mid term break in Singapore. Participants of the course will have to carry the costs for flight and accommodation in Singapore. Total costs for flight and accommodation during the stay in Singapore are expected to be in the range of approximately CHF 1,000 to CHF 1,900 (based on students’ feedback of previous years). Singapore offers a wide variety of accommodation ranging from hostels to hotels as well as direct flights and stopover flights. Further, it is the students’ responsibility to have valid travel insurance for their stay in Singapore.