Straits Times Singapore: Asean business leaders meet on single market plan

(From left) AirAsia chief executive officer Tony Fernandes, Network Asean Forum chairman and Northstar Group managing director Patrick Walujo, SC Global Developments chief executive officer Simon Cheong, Straits Trading Company executive chairman Chew Gek Khim, CIMB Group chief executive Nazir Razak, Jardine Cycle & Carriage managing director Alex Newbigging and Ayala Corporation chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala are among the business leaders attending the forum today. -- PHOTO: NETWORK ASEAN FORUM
BUSINESS leaders from across the region have converged in Singapore today for a one-day forum to discuss ways to make Asean economic integration work.

The talks will centre on identifying bottlenecks and barriers to free trade within the 10-nation region and proposing solutions to industry-specific obstacles.

The Network Asean Forum is part of preparations ahead of the landmark date in 2015 when member countries plan to establish a single market – a first step towards fostering greater economic integration.

As things stand now however, the private sector is concerned there are not yet enough systems and structures in place to make the vision a reality, said CIMB chief executive Nazir Razak, one of the forum’s conveners.