Gateways to international business in the APAC region

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” – Thomas Edison

Business is booming! Despite negative headlines about the decline of globalisation in the Trump era, business across the globe is on the up and up. The world’s biggest 100 companies alone are worth a colossal US$16 trillion and only getting bigger…

And it’s not just your usual suspects that are thriving – although Apple is of course top of the pile with a market cap of US$725 billion – less prominent sectors are also flourishing. Take for example, the global baby care business, valued at a staggering US$35 billion throughout 2015.

The globalised nature in which business is now conducted also means a rise in corporate travel. As companies stretch not just beyond their national but their continental borders, business people in today’s modern environment are increasingly expected to travel as part of their role.

This traversing the globe to close deals, meet with clients, and review supply chains helped pushed the global business travel spend to record levels, hitting US$1.2 trillion in the year 2015. All things considered, it’s clear that knowledgeable graduates from the world’s leading business schools look forward to exciting prospects on all four corners of the globe.

While many of the household names of big business still reside along the western Pacific shoreline in the likes of the Silicon Valley, the Asia-Pacific region is the area currently taking the business world by storm.

In recent years, the Asia-Pacific region has pursued greater openness, integration and development, forging a unique path of dynamic regional economic cooperation. Despite being home to economies at vastly different levels of development, the region has achieved integration and a level of collaboration that has made it a highly successful, yet complex, business ecosystem.

According to last year’s annual world wealth report from Capgemini, Asia-Pacific now accounts for the highest number of the world’s most wealthy people, with experts forecasting that the region will soon account for two-fifths of the world’s total wealth over the next 10 years.

An exciting future undoubtedly lays ahead for business in the region, encouraging global business leaders, investors and prospective students to invest in APAC’s promising business ventures.

“It is difficult to think of another part of the world that provides the diversity of investment opportunities available in Asia-Pacific,” states wealth management firm, Coutts.

“Asia-Pacific’s share of world GDP continues to grow…,” adds the report. “This trend…is likely to continue, giving a compelling image of the long-term prospects for the region.”

Gaining access to this bountiful well of opportunity can be life changing, making an investment in your APAC international business education an investment that will quickly see returns.

With this in mind, here are 3 world-class Schools that serve as gateways to International Business in the APAC region…


The School of Business at Portland State University places international business front and center of its postgraduate programs, and sees business as a tool to make a positive difference around the globe. Those are more than just words.

The Portland MBA is the 9th best green MBA in the 2017 Princeton Review, reflecting the school’s clear commitment to sustainable, environmentally and socially-conscious business practices. The diversity of the student body is testament to the school’s dedication to helping form a more equitable society, enrolling a majority of women in the MBA course — far above the national average.


Recognizing the vital importance of engaging with the international business community, the Master of International Management (MIM) includes a language element to straddle the gap between the US and the business hubs of Asia.

“I love the international aspect of the program, such as learning a new language, because we have a chance of either learning Chinese or Japanese. Another great aspect is the Asia field trip, which is a really exciting three week trip,” says MIM student Daniar Listyasari. “There’s no doubt the MIM is giving me a unique perspective and applicable skills in international business that will help me in my career.”

While on the trip, students get the chance to network with executives and gain access to the inside operations of influential global companies.

But the opportunity to expand your professional horizons doesn’t stop there; by joining the MIM or MBA, students gain access to a cohort of local and international students from a rich array of backgrounds and perspectives, as well as a wealth of experienced faculty. These individuals form a tight-knit business community that graduates can rely on for tips now and long into the future.


Ranked 15th in the world for business and management studies in the 2017 QS World University Rankings, this school boasts a solid reputation for producing capable, knowledgeable and ambitious graduates with a mind for international business.

Recognised by Forbes as the best place in Asia to kick-start a business enterprise, this school’s Singapore location is a major advantage when learning the intricacies of business in the Asia-Pacific region. The school remains distinctive among the world’s leading business institution by offering the best of global knowledge with deep Asian insights, preparing students to lead Asian businesses to the forefront of the world economy and help global business thrive within an Asian base.

The NUS MBA is characterised by a strong global curriculum with a focus on business in Asia. This offers an engaging forum for students to acquire the skills needed for leadership roles in today’s competitive global marketplace. By merging east and west, the MBA curriculum integrates western business models and leadership principles from a distinctly Asian perspective.

The school places great emphasis on experiential learning, recognising the benefits of allowing students to put academic theories and concepts into practice. Thanks to NUS’ extensive links to industry, both postgraduate and undergraduate students work closely with a range of industries on consulting projects.

“We want to create a realistic landscape for them to learn hands-on from industry practitioners,” says Associate Professor Susanna Leong.

“In the past year, our MBA students have worked with some two dozen corporate partners, in conjunction with our faculty, on 37 projects across 19 industries to provide proposals solving real business challenges.”


Learning by doing is central to Orfalea’s approach to getting students career-ready, shoring up their success in a modern global economy. Hands-on access to advanced technical facilities, exceptional faculty members, and like-minded peers are a recipe for success as the school brags a 96 percent employment rate after graduation.

The school is currently going through an exciting period of growth, forging new programs and redefining more, all of which offer a technically sound business foundation along with experiential learning focused on business communication, negotiation, leadership, personal capital growth and honing a moral compass.

The MBA delivers core competencies in all aspects of management, empowering graduates to occupy positions in industry, government, and not-for-profits. It also offers an international angle with exchange programs with the Politecnico Di Milano School of Management in Milan.

Other courses include MS Business Analytics, MS Tax, MS Accounting, and MS Economics. Unlike many other universities, Orfalea also provides concurrent degree programs, like the Engineering Management Program.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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