About ASEAN Business Advisory Council

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Mandated by ASEAN Leaders to provide private sector feedback and guidance to boost ASEAN's efforts towards economic integration

Launched in April 2003, ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) was formed following decision of the ASEAN Leaders at the 7th ASEAN Summit, with the mandate to provide private sector feedback and guidance to boost ASEAN's efforts towards economic integration. Accordingly, ASEAN-BAC’s activities are primarily focused on reviewing and identifying issues to facilitate and promote economic cooperation and integration. The Council also submits annual recommendations for the consideration of the ASEAN Leaders and the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM).

ASEAN-BAC’s members are appointed by the Ministers in charge, and comprise of high-level CEOs of companies from each member country. Each country is represented by a maximum of three members, with one representing the interest of the small and medium-sized enterprises.

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Some of the ASEAN-BAC Members with the Prime Minister of Malaysia and 2015 ASEAN Chair, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak

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ASEAN Leaders’ Interface with ASEAN Business Advisory Council at the 26th ASEAN Summit held on 27th April 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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The 13th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) - ASEAN-BAC Consultation held on 25th August 2015, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

For more information on ASEAN-BAC, please visit www.asean-bac.org

About ASEAN-BAC Malaysia

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia Chapter is an integral participant in the regional ASEAN-BAC with regular participation at all Council Meetings and Consultation with the leaders. Over the course of the 13 years that the ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chapter has been in operation, various recommendations, feedback and input have been provided during the consultation with the ASEAN Economic Ministers and ASEAN Heads of State at the regular ASEAN Consultation and Business Summits. At the same time, various studies on the national and regional economic climate have been conducted to substantiate the recommendations, some of which have already been incorporated into the guidelines of the overall ASEAN Economic Community Agenda.

Moving forward, ASEAN-BAC as a collective endeavour to venture into more operative initiatives such as business matchmakings and promotional activities between the private sector businesses within the region, with particular emphasis on SMEs, the main economic driver of the region. Every national council is responsible for the implementation of these initiatives at national level with collaboration, support and connectivity with the various other national councils.

The initiatives are set in accordance with the guidelines and timeline of the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), with its formation year in 2015 and hosted by Malaysia.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Members

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia is represented by Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir bin Abdul Majid (Chairman), Dato' Ramesh Kodammal (Council Member and ASEAN-BAC's Secretary) & Natasha Zulkifli (National Staffer and representative of the ASEAN-BAC Businesswomen Working Group).

Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Majid

Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid
Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia
Chairman of Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad
Chairman of CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI)
Chairman of The Financial Services Professional Board Malaysia (FSPB)
President of ASEAN Business Club

Tan Sri Dato' Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid

Tan Sri Dr. Munir worked in UK as a university tutor and research analyst in the City before returning to Malaysia at the end of 1978, to be leader writer for the New Straits Times. He progressed to the position of Group Editor before leaving in 1986 to become Chief Executive Officer of a small merchant bank Pertanian Baring Sanwa, whose name he changed to Commerce International Merchant Bankers (CIMB), which was then transformed into one of Malaysia’s leading merchant banks. In 1993, he was invited by the Government of Malaysia to establish the Securities Commission, where he served as Executive Chairman for two terms until 1999. He was instrumental in shaping the legal and regulatory framework of the capital markets in Malaysia, particularly in establishing disclosurebased regulation. He was also responsible for drafting the country’s first code of corporate governance in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98. He was Chairman of the Emerging Markets Committee of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions during his term at Malaysia’s Securities Commission. After leaving the Commission, he became Director of Telekom Malaysia Berhad, Chairman of Celcom (Malaysia) Berhad and Chairman of Malaysian Airline System Berhad. He was Founder President of the Kuala Lumpur Business Club, established in 2003 and is a member of the Court of Fellows of the Malaysian Institute of Management. He is currently Chairman of Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad, of CIMB Asean Research Institute, of the Asean Business Advisory Council, Malaysia and of The Financial Services Professional Board Malaysia (FSPB), as well as President of the Asean Business Club.

Tan Sri Dr. Munir obtained a B.Sc (Econ) and Ph.D in international relations from the London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE) in 1971 and 1978. He is an Honorary Fellow of LSE and continues the long association with his alma mater as Visiting Senior Fellow at the Centre of International affairs, Diplomacy and Strategy. Tan Sri Dr. Munir is an associate of Southeast Asia Centre (SEAC) at LSE.


Dato' Ramesh Kodammal DIMP
Secretary, ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)
Council Member, ASEAN-BAC Malaysia
Chairman of ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC) Malaysia
Co-Chairman of ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC)
Chairman of Goldtex Group of Companies

Dato' Ramesh Kodammal DIMP

Dato’ Ramesh Kodammal is the Chairman of Goldtex Group of Companies, a company which he founded since 1976 specialising in import & export of garments and textiles, as well as manufacturing of home furnishings.

Dato’ Ramesh has been appointed by the Ministry of International Trade & Industry (MITI) Malaysia as the Chairman of ASEAN-India Business Council Malaysia and the Co-Chairman of ASEAN-India Business Council (AIBC). He is also a Council Member and Secretary of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), which has been mandated by ASEAN Leaders since 2003 to provide private sector feedback and guidance to boost ASEAN's efforts towards economic integration. He is also the Malaysian representative in the MSME ASEAN-BAC Working Group. Dato’ Ramesh is an Honorary Member of the Kuala Lumpur Malay Chamber Of Commerce (KLMCC).

Dato’ Ramesh actively promotes the interests of the business community between ASEAN-India and he has been actively involved in the visits by Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi to Malaysia as part of this initiative. He has actively participated in various international forums and seminars representing Malaysia as a moderator and speaker.

Among the posts which Dato’ Ramesh has held previously include the Deputy President of Kuala Lumpur Selangor Indian Chambers Of Commerce (KLSCCI ), Vice President Of Malaysia Associate Indian Chambers & Industries and Treasurer of National Chambers of Commerce and Industries Of Malaysia (NCCIM ). He currently still holds various positions in other non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Natasha Zulkifli

Natasha Zulkifli
National Staffer, ASEAN-BAC Malaysia
Executive Vice President at Prasarana Malaysia Berhad

Natasha Zulkifli

Natasha is Executive Vice President at Prasarana Malaysia Berhad in charge of driving the Rapid Transit System (RTS) Project, a joint venture project between Malaysia and Singapore to operate a cross-border metro line between Johor Bahru in Malaysia and Woodlands in Singapore. Prasarana currently operates 4 urban rail lines, is constructing a new 37km-long metro line, provides bus and BRT services in 4 Malaysian cities as well as operates ferry services in Penang, Malaysia. For the last 3 years Prasarana has also operated the Makkah Al-Mashaer line providing metro services to pilgrims during the Hajj season.

In 2017 Natasha founded Women in Rail Malaysia, a not-for-profit entity which promotes equality and diversity for women in the Malaysian rail industry. She is passionate about driving Women in Rail Malaysia for the benefit of women currently working within the industry and to also promote the Malaysian rail space as a career of choice to young women.

Prior to joining Prasarana, Natasha served for three years as Special Officer to the Chief Executive Officer at Malaysia’s Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD). SPAD is responsible for regulating, streamlining policies, central planning and enforcement of all land public transportation matters.

Natasha also has experience in the not-for-profit space, having run Malaysia-Europe Forum (MEF), for three years as its Executive Director. The MEF was set up to improve relations and bilateral understanding between Malaysia and Europe in areas relating to business and trade. Under Natasha’s leadership, the MEF successfully launched an international internship programme and carried out roundtables, conferences and dialogues in Kuala Lumpur, London, Brussels, Vienna, Munich, Paris and Madrid. In the past, Natasha sat as Malaysia’s representative on the Asia Low Emission Development Strategies (LEDS) Partnership Steering Committee, which is a voluntary regional network set up to support and promote low-emission development across Asia and the Pacific region. Since 2015 she has represented Malaysia on the Business Women’s Working Group within the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC).

Natasha has studied in Kuala Lumpur, New Zealand and London, having obtained a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE), with a special focus on European Union and international law. She lives in Kuala Lumpur and is married with 2 children: Laura and Aidan.