The Power Of Talent

The latest industry news and insights

From across our global network

Majority of APAC business yet to feel the impact of Trump victory but future looks increasingly uncertain

Hong Kong - January 19th 2017 - The majority of APAC leaders feel the results of the US presidential election are yet to have an effect on their business but think the long-term impact could be negative for the region, according to a recent survey by leading executive search firm, Harvey Nash. 

The 'Trump Effect on Asia' survey, which polled 141 APAC business leaders, found that 71% of respondents believe that Trump's victory has not yet affected their business, 15% report a negative impact, while 8% say it has had a positive impact on business.

The majority of APAC business leaders expressed concern about the lasting impact of a Trump presidency. 29% expect that it will have a long-term negative impact on APAC business profits, 19% are assessing their existing trade deals with the US, and 7% have cut budgets as a result of Trump's victory.

The survey also reveals that businesses in the region were mainly unprepared for the election result. 65% had no plan in place for a Trump victory, 19% had prepared a business contingency plan, and less than a tenth (9%) of respondents were fully prepared, with both a response and plan to deal with this outcome.

Looking to the future, 59% of APAC business leaders predict that trade and tariff negotiations will be affected by the Trump presidency, 49% foresee market instability, and 30% anticipate an economic slowdown in the region. Meanwhile when it comes to the workforce, the republican's victory could result in some positive outcomes for the region.  36% of respondents believe there will now be an increased focus on local leadership in APAC, while 35% foresee Asian nationals returning in greater numbers from the US, and 24% expect to see a slowdown in talent migration. Welcome news in the light of predicted skills shortages across the region.

Top five trends from the survey include:

1)      Trump's victory hasn't had an immediate impact on APAC business

71% of respondents believe the election outcome has not affected their business

2)      Majority of business leaders are concerned about a long-term negative impact

29% report that the Trump presidency will have a long-term negative effect on APAC business profits

3)      APAC talent pool to increase

36% feel there will be an increased focus on local leadership, 35% expect APAC nationals in the US will return home in greater numbers, and 24% to see a slowdown in talent migration

4)      APAC is currently affected by wider market uncertainty

37% said that their business is being impacted by the general global slowdown, 29% highlighted the China slowdown, while 11% revealed that global oil prices were affecting their business

5)      Changing relationships with the US

59% expect trade and tariff negotiations will be affected, while 54% believe there will be a large impact of the strength of the US dollar


Nick Marsh, Managing Director, Harvey Nash Executive Search APAC said: "Trump's victory came as a surprise to many business leaders in the region and came at the end of year which saw increased levels of uncertainty across global markets. Those in the region must now look at how to steady the ship and put in place plans to deal with these anticipated changes. The good news is that so far it's business as usual for the majority of APAC businesses and that those in the region stand to benefit from a wave of returning local talent." 

For more insights, download the Trump Effect Infographic.pdf


 About Harvey Nash

Harvey Nash has helped over half the world's leading companies recruit, source and manage the highly skilled talent they need to succeed in an increasingly competitive, global and technology driven world. With over 7,000 experts in more than 40 offices across Europe, Asia and the USA, we have the reach and resources of a global organisation, whilst fostering a culture of innovation and agility that empowers our people across the world to respond to constantly changing client needs. We work with clients, both large and small, to deliver a portfolio of services: executive search, professional recruitment and IT outsourcing.

To learn more, please visit  

Follow us on Twitter: @HarveyNashAPAC

Learn more on LinkedIn:

Media contacts:

Muns Ip

Harvey Nash

+852 3199 6956