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ASEAN Investment Forum: Digital as a Key Driver for ASEAN Growth

Date:
2 September 2023
Category:
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Jakarta, 2 September 2023: The ASEAN Investment Forum 2023, under the theme Investments for Sustainable Development and co-hosted by the Indonesia's Ministry of Investment, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN ESCAP), and Bloomberg, was held at Sultan Hotel in Jakarta on 2 September.

The Economic and Research Institute of ASEAN and South Asia (ERIA) took part in the second session of the forum, which focused on current trends in global supply chains and sustainable investment. It featured three panellists: Secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry of Philippines Alfredo E Pascual; Deputy Director General, the Foreign Investment Agency, Ministry of Planning and Investment of Viet Nam Nguyen Anh Tuan; and ERIA’s Lead Advisor for Southeast Asia Dr Lili Yan Ing.

This session delved into the evolving dynamics of global supply chains, emphasizing both the opportunities and challenges which lie ahead. The concept of Globalization 2.0 was a central point of discussion, with insights by Pascual suggesting some sectors may experience fragmentation and reshoring, particularly those related to national security and critical industries. However, Tuan said there was also a strong emphasis on the potential for greater integration in other sectors, and Viet Nam's strategic positioning in digital services and high technology was highlighted as a promising opportunity due to its young workforce and strategic geographic location.

Dr Ing addressed the escalating issue of global supply chain resilience, emphasizing the rising tensions between the United States and China, which will have significant implications for global trade, technology, and security. She also highlighted the rapid digital transformation, underscoring its impact on the production and delivery of goods and services. Dr Ing then discussed the challenges faced by global supply chains, such as disruptions caused by US-China tensions, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine.

Dr Ing also delved into growing protectionism measures, noting that in 2022 there were more than 2,600 new restrictions on goods, services, and investment. She proposed three policy recommendations for resilient supply chains: strengthening the multilateral trading system, investing in logistics and maritime infrastructure, and optimizing digital transformation. The importance of sustainable investment as the foundation for achieving not only supply chain resilience but also resilient, sustainable, and inclusive growth was also emphasized in the discussion.

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