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Integrated digital economy can benefit Asean

23 Aug Integrated digital economy can benefit Asean

Speakers and panellists at the SIIA’s 9th ASEAN & Asia Forum were quoted in an article by Lee Xin En for The Straits Times. Excerpts from the article are below.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) Mr S. Iswaran told a forum at the Ritz Carlton Millenia that greater integration was even more important in a time when “we see increasing scepticism about the value of keeping economies open and integrated”.

Mr Iswaran was speaking to about 300 corporate leaders from regional businesses, government officials and policymakers at the ninth annual Asean and Asia forum, organised by the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.

Indonesia’s newly appointed Minister for National Development Planning, Professor Bambang Brodjonegoro, spoke of the need for domestic reforms.

“It is time to focus on the economic side and I think it’s also the time to push for reform,” he said, adding that Indonesian President Joko Widodo is trying to transform Indonesia’s economy from consumption-led to investment-led growth.

Despite the generally positive outlook for the region, the uncertainty of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has taken five years of negotiation, loomed in the background. It could potentially be stymied by the United States presidential elections, as both candidates have said they are against it.

Mr Michael Michalak, regional managing director of the US-Asean Business Council, said that the Obama administration is determined “to do everything in its power to try and push TPP through the Congress”, and there is a good chance it would be ratified.

Full Article: Integrated digital economy can benefit Asean [The Straits Times, 23 Aug 2016]

Photo Credit: SIIA