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Trade war

Half of multinationals in Asia stung by trade war: survey

Majority see no end in sight to tensions between US and China

The Singapore skyline: more businesses see Southeast Asia as a potential alternative to China.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Nearly half of multinational companies operating in Asia have suffered a blow from the trade war between the U.S. and China, a survey published Wednesday by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore shows.

Out of 144 of the chamber's members that responded to the survey, 49% said they had been negatively affected by the trade dispute in the last six months.

When asked about the outlook on the trade war, 70% said it would deteriorate further or stay the same indefinitely.

Most of the chamber's members are multinationals, and 61% of respondents were headquartered in the U.S. The survey results point to the widespread impact of the standoff between the world's two largest economies.

Forty-nine percent said they altered their corporate strategies in response to the tariff brawl, with 14% considering moving manufacturing out of China and 6% weighing a complete withdrawal from the country.

Meanwhile, 14% of respondents said they were positively affected by the U.S.-China friction. Law firms and management consultancies face increased demand for their services as businesses move production from Vietnam and elsewhere.

Amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China, 48% said the Southeast Asian market had become more attractive.

The region needs to resolve the bottleneck in ports and other infrastructure in order to take advantage of this opportunity, said Gerry Mattios. an expert vice president at Bain & Co., which partnered with AmCham Singapore on the survey.

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