ASEAN Roundtable Series discussion on South China Sea ruling and repercussion : How geopolitics impact ASEAN integration.

CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) in collaboration with ASEAN Business Club (ABC) held a roundtable discussion on 30th August 2016, with a theme on South China Sea ruling and repercussion : How geopolitics impact ASEAN integration. Speakers of the roundtable include, Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of CARI and President of the ASEAN Business Club, Professor Anthony Milner, Visiting Professor of Centre for ASEAN Regionalism and University of Malaya, Professor Dato’ Dr. Zakaria Ahmad, Deputy Vice Chancellor of HELP University, and Bunn Sri Na Nagara, Senior Fellow of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Malaysia.

Discussion summary to follow.

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KUALA LUMPUR, 24th April – ASEAN Business Club and regional companies expressed support for the ASEAN Economic Community 2025 Vision to realise a highly integrated community with a people-centred agenda. They welcomed the strengthening of private sector’s role in the next ten years of ASEAN Economic Community building.

Over 150 multinationals, regional businesses and media gathered today in Kuala Lumpur in a special dialogue focused on ASEAN Economic Community 2025, jointly organised by the ASEAN Business Club, CIMB ASEAN Research Institute and Ministry of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia.

In the coming decade, ASEAN has committed to institutionalise within each body a consultative process with lead private sector associations and business councils to support the implementation of various sectors. ASEAN has identified four prioritised sectors, namely retail (including e-commerce), agri-food, healthcare and logistics for the removal of non-tariff barriers.

“Private sector engagement with leaders and ministers in the past has seen insufficient progress in the removal non-tariff barriers. The next phase must focus on tangible outcome, with the private sector working through Asean bodies from the bottom up as well. We call for the inclusion of private sector experts in the Asean policy making process,” said Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, President of the ASEAN Business Club.

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Leading businesses from the private sector have become a forceful voice of change, committed to accelerating ASEAN integration efforts. The ASEAN Business Club Forum, a joint collaboration between the CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) and the ASEAN Business Club (ABC), brings together industry leaders and stakeholders to discuss the future of ASEAN integration.

This forum serves to identify bottlenecks and barriers hindering free trade within ASEAN member nations and to help achieve the goal of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. The forum is steered by the leadership of some of the most influential corporate figures across various sectors comprising leading ASEAN and global organisations such as AirAsia, CIMB Group, Ayala Corporation, Bangkok Bank, Northstar Group, Lippo Group, and many more.

The ABC Forum is the second phase of the Lifting-The-Barriers Initiative (LTBI). Preliminary research from targeted sectors coupled with round-table discussions between the public and private sectors at the forum leads to the production of the Lifting-The-Barriers Reports, a set of white papers for policy makers to effect real change in the region.

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Key regional business leaders and stakeholders from across ASEAN converged in Singapore for the two-day ASEAN Business Club Forum to identify bottlenecks and barriers hindering free trade ahead of implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015. The forum was held from 8th-9th September at the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.

ABC Forum 2014 Chairman, Tan Sri Tony Fernandes who is also an ASEAN Business Club (ABC) Council Member and the Group CEO of AirAsia stressed the importance of co-operation between government and private sector to facilitate businesses so that their growth will not be impeded.

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CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI) is proud to present the inaugural Network ASEAN Forum (NAF 2013), which has been scheduled to be held on 22nd to 23rd August, 2013, with a theme on “A Strategy For ASEAN” in Singapore.

Over the last 30 years, ASEAN has evolved into a major player in the international arena. ASEAN has signed on to the goal of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, however most businesses have not given it enough weight to factor it into their plans. Fewer than 20% of them have any plans for AEC 2015.

The AEC should be factored into all the economic planning of the private and public sector. This is CARI’s founding conviction. As a hybrid institution, funded by the private sector, but dedicated to help connect the private sector to the public ecosystem of ASEAN, we are positioned to mediate between the official ASEAN process driven by government leaders, policymakers and regulators, and the perspectives and resources of the business community.

Therefore, NAF 2013 will serve as a premier annual event and the central stage of discussion for ASEAN convening ASEAN community and all influential stakeholders. Most uniquely, NAF 2013 will convene around “Lifting-the-Barriers Roundtables”, six sector-based roundtables, with a special focus on identifying bottlenecks and barriers hindering free trade of the six championed sectors in the context of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).

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CIMB Bangkok Conference 2012

Asean stands to benefit tremendously from the return of he restoration of the 500-year-old trading route is already underway with Asean resuming its ancient role of linking China, India and the rest of Asia to the rest of the world, he told a seminar on “Rethinking Asean in the New Global Economy” held by CIMB Bank. Myanmar provides the geographical link between the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea, while Thailand stands at the crossroads of “continental Asia”.

However, Asean needs a “new growth model” to deal effectively with the “new global order” that its “engaging business” sector can play a key role in. Bunluasak Pussarungsri, executive vice president of CIMB Thai Bank, said Asean could take some global production share away from China and become a new global production hub for some industries including automobiles, provided it has the right strategy.

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CIMB-CARI Myanmar Breakfast Meeting

CARI and CIMB associates had the privilege of meeting several Myanmar delegates at a small group session over breakfast to learn more about the country’s business and economic developments.

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CARI Conversation III – ASEAN’s role in the new global economy

This year’s CARI Conversations discussed ASEAN’s role in the new global economy. For the first time, the session was streamed and tweeted live.

The distinguished panel emphasised the importance of further integration for ASEAN in the new global environment.

ASEAN can punch its weight only if it is integrated and the progress of integration is slow because of insufficient institutional push, said former deputy governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, Ooi Sang Kuang.

The panel agreed that ASEAN needs a framework and mechanism that is tailor-made for its developing members.

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A Snapshot Of Democracy In ASEAN

In this talk hosted by CARI and IDFR at the Treaty Room of the former headquarters of Wisma Putra (the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Tunku ‘Abidin (CARI Fellow) outlined four key factors in the democratisation of ASEAN: institutional legitimacy (both within individual countries and ASEAN as a whole), economic integration, the impact of popular protest, and geopolitics, in addition to specific issues seen in individual countries.

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Malaysia-Thai Chamber of Commerce Networking Dinner

CARI was invited to a dinner hosted by CIMB Thai for the Malaysian-Thai Chamber of Commerce. During the dinner, John Pang, CARI CEO, delivered the keynote address entitled “The Impact of AEC on SMEs”.

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Harvard University’s Southeast Asia Trek 2012

The Harvard graduate students from the Kennedy School of Government visited Vietnam, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand on a trek (Harvard lingo for a study trip). The theme of the trek is a “Cross-country comparative view on how countries in Southeast Asia develop sustainably and escape the middle-income trap.”

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CARI at panel discussion at AUB Program

The Accelerated Universal Bankers (AUB) Program is one of CIMB’s initiatives designed to build a team of ASEAN-centric Universal Bankers. The modules are geared to equip the group’s high performing managers with a range of skills and abilities to enable them to lead diverse teams from various backgrounds, countries and cultures, and ultimately thrive in ASEAN’s banking space.

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Panel discussion at CIMB’s ASEAN Conference

Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) in collaboration with the ASEAN Federation of Accountants (AFA) organised the MIA International Accountants Conference and the 17th AFA Conference on 2nd and 3rd November at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.

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First Asian Central Banks’ Watchers Conference

Themed “Corporate ASEAN in the New World Order”, the conference was an opportunity to listen to the perspectives of the region’s most influential policy makers and corporate captains on ASEAN’s prospects as a new economic force and how they stand to benefit from the high levels of growth in the region.

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Panel Discussion at CIMB’s ASEAN Conference 2011

ASEAN businesses need to change their mindset and governments should play a more active role in breaking down barriers to cross-border trade, according to panellists at a plenary session entitled, “Realising AEC 2015 – the Role of Corporate ASEAN”. The session was held in conjunction with the inaugural CIMB ASEAN Conference on 27 October 2011.

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