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Embrace connectivity to thrive: Iswaran to ASEAN economies


22 Aug Embrace connectivity to thrive: Iswaran to ASEAN economies

Speakers and panellists at the SIIA’s 9th ASEAN & Asia Forum were quoted in an article by Patrick John Lim for Channel NewsAsia. Excerpts from the article are below.

SINGAPORE: The digital revolution and emerging digital economy offer potential for economies across Southeast Asia, Trade and Industry (Industry) Minister S Iswaran said on Monday (Aug 22).

Speaking at the 9th ASEAN & Asia Forum organised by regional think-tank Singapore Institute of International Affairs, Mr Iswaran urged ASEAN economies to “embrace connectivity in order to thrive”.

Building on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s emphasis on responding to the phenomenon of disruption in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday, Mr Iswaran said digitisation could help companies unlock growth, and that while the region must continue strengthening integration efforts, integration in the digital space should also be a key area of focus.


Mr Ian Wong, managing director and head of group strategy and international management at UOB, who was one of the panellists, noted that the ASEAN bloc would form one of the world’s largest economies.

Said Associate Professor Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs: “Clearly it’s behind the border issues, standardisation, but also the physical connectivity. If you bring the tariffs down but the cost of logistics in ASEAN is too high – even sometimes within a country like Indonesia or a large country – you need to bring this down so you can become globally competitive.”

Full Article: Embrace connectivity to thrive: Iswaran to ASEAN economies [Channel NewsAsia, 22 Aug 2016]

Photo Credit: SIIA