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  • ASEAN Conference 2016 to Discuss Business Strategies and Effective Collaboration Models for the Region

ASEAN Conference 2016 to discuss business strategies and effective collaboration models for the region

  • Conference to look at opportunities and challenges in ASEAN in relation to the ASEAN Economic Community
  • Participants to gain insights into ASEAN 2025 and growth opportunities arising from China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative

[31 May 16] Singapore - The ASEAN Conference 2016, jointly organised by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and founding partners United Overseas Bank (UOB), Rajah & Tann LLP and RSM Chio Lim LLP, is themed “New Mindsets, Right Strategies, Effective Collaborations”. Held at the Suntec City Convention Centre, the Conference will look at opportunities and challenges arising from the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in late 2015.

At the event, Guest-of-Honour Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade), will deliver the opening remarks. Other notable speakers include Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Mr Darmin Nasution, Myanmar Minister for Commerce Dr Than Myint, and Vietnam Vice Minister for Industry and Trade Mr Hoang Quoc Vuong.

Bringing together key decision makers from the private and public sectors, ASEAN Conference 2016 will present a macroeconomic outlook of ASEAN and policy updates on the new vision and target of ASEAN 2025. Mr Tran Dong Phuong, Director, Sectoral Development, ASEAN Secretariat, will also share on the journey ahead for ASEAN 2025.

Importance of ASEAN to the business community

Businesses can benefit from the establishment of the AEC as it brings access to a market worth over US$ 2.6 trillion. Collectively, the region has a population of over 622 million people, representing the world’s third largest market base, behind only China and India1.

The Southeast Asia region is also one of the world’s largest destinations for foreign direct investments (FDI). In 2014, the region attracted US$136 billion and accounted for 11% of global FDI inflows, up from only 5% in 2007. A recent Deloitte study forecast that five of the top 15 manufacturing locations in the world will be in ASEAN by 20202.

In addition, GDP growth forecast for ASEAN stands at 4.9% in 2017, up from 4.4% in 2016. This is above the World Bank’s estimates for global growth at 2.9% for 2016 and at 3.1% in 20173.

Locally, businesses also recognise the growth potential in ASEAN. Based on the SBF National Business Survey 2015/16, respondents are looking into Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia as top 3 markets for future ventures. The survey results also showed that the AEC has encouraged continued interest in Philippines and Thailand.

ASEAN Conference 2016

Against a backdrop of strong growth potential in ASEAN, the ASEAN Conference 2016 panel discussions will have business leaders from Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand sharing success stories and providing insights on the effective strategies to adopt when doing business in the region.

The discussions will also touch on the impact of disruptive technologies on the regional business landscape and explore different models for collaboration in ASEAN from international perspectives. Participants can also learn about the growth opportunities arising from China’s “One Belt One Road” initiative and how companies can best position themselves to tap into these opportunities.

Mr SS Teo, Chairman of SBF, said “With the integration within ASEAN, businesses can benefit from lower production costs resulting from the lower barriers to trade and investment, coupled with access to sectors that were previously restricted prior to the establishment of the AEC.

We hope that from the ASEAN Conference 2016, participants would be able to learn how to formulate appropriate strategies and form partnership models to tap into the growth potential of the region. As the ASEAN 2025 blueprint is being developed, companies should start preparing early to capture any opportunity that may arise.”


Keynote Remarks by Guest-of-Honour Minister for Trade & Industry (Trade) Mr Lim Hng Kiang

Welcome Remarks by SBF Chairman Mr SS Teo

1 “Fact Sheet on ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)” published by ASEAN Secretariat, December 2015.
2 Deloitte ‘s Global CEO Survey: 2016 Global manufacturing competitiveness index rankings by country ranked Singapore at 11th, Vietnam at 12th, Malaysia at 13th, Thailand at 14th and Indonesia at 15th place in 2020 (projected).
3 Global Economic Prospects 2016 Spill overs amid Weak Growth” published by World Bank, January 2016

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