The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) prepares to grow faster amidst uncertain political and global environment than advanced economies.
The region is projected to grow at 4.8 percent this year which is above the predicted growth rate of 3.4 percent among advanced economies. ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Lim Hong Hin said that this must be viewed contrary to the emergence of populism and protectionism that pose a challenge to the region’s integration agenda.
During the ASEAN Finance Ministers’ Investor Seminar (AFMIS), ASEAN-member finance ministers tackled the various investment opportunities for the region and as well as the progress of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) that aims to create a single market and production base that was executed two years ago.
The AEC Blueprint 2025 outlines to transform the bloc to keep up with global trends and enhance the electronic commerce, global value chains, financial inclusion, global practices and sustainable development of the countries. As ASEAN upgrades to a productivity-driven economy, investment in research and development, commercialization and human resources would be heightened as they sustain the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) as they are the backbone of the regional economy.
Philippines being the host for the 50th ASEAN Summit, pushed for greater partnerships as this year’s theme “Partnering for change, engaging the world” – referenced President Duterte’s campaign slogan “change is coming”.