ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia hosted three annual virtual consultation dialogue sessions that saw over 100 senior representatives from Malaysia’s private sector attend to exchange views about the outlook, opportunities, and challenges of operating in the current business climate.The strong private sector representation provided and the collective concerns and recommendations raised during the dialogues will form the basis of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia’s consultation and advocacy efforts with the government of Malaysia and other ASEAN countries and at ASEAN-level ministerial meetings in 2022. The three dialogues were moderated by ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid, Council Members Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon and Mr Raja Singham, and included special remarks from Puan Jamilah Haji Hassan, Senior Director of ASEAN Economic Integration Division at MITI. In her special remarks, Puan Jamilah Haji Hassan addressed the ratifications of free trade agreements (FTAs) and reassured participants that the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) remains a top priority for the ministry. Tan Sri Munir credited MITI for ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and pushing ahead with the process to ratify the CPTPP despite political resistance. While there has been progress in opening up the economy, several issues from 2021 remain to be addressed, particularly greater and regular consultation with the private sector. Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon echoed the Chairman’s sentiments on MITI’s progress with the FTAs and emphasised that it will provide a strong foundation for economic recovery. He also stressed that the challenges raised during the dialogue must be addressed for Malaysia to penetrate regionally or globally. Mr. Raja Singham remarked that the virtual dialogue was organised at the right time with Malaysia’s transition to the endemic phase beginning 1st April 2022. With the borders reopening, business sectors that took massive economic hits will now have the opportunity to bounce back and even leverage lessons learnt during the pandemic.
Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce played host to this year’s 28th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Retreat on 16 March 2022, chaired by Cambodian Minister of Commerce, His Excellency Pan Sorasak. YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali, Senior Minister of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI), represented Malaysia. ASEAN-BAC Chair 2022 Neak Okhna Kith Meng led the region’s ASEAN-BAC delegation, including ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Members and secretariat.
Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, Chairman of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia, who presented the “Plea to Act to Revive the ASEAN Tourism Industry”, urged the AEM to lead the initiative with transport and tourism ministers to revive the US$380 billion Intra-ASEAN tourism sector, as well as to liberalise air travel under the ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASEAN-SAM).
Ms Jukhee Hong, Chair of the Green and Sustainable Economy Working Group (GSE WG), called on policymakers (1) for an accelerated and structured transition to renewable energy, (2) to mobilise sustainable finance in driving transition, and (3) for a just transition. The proposal and initiatives of the GSE WG were supported by the ASEAN Secretariat, the Philippines, and Malaysia.
YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Azmin Bin Ali stressed that the unyielding support and push from the private sectors in critical areas of the Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) will be able to keep the aspirations towards the realisation of the AEC Blueprint 2025 alive. He also expressed his support for the GSE WG and encouraged further collaboration efforts between the public and private sectors to achieve carbon neutrality in ASEAN.
Malaysia Media Coverage:-
ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia Council Members participated in the 92nd ASEAN-BAC Meeting chaired by ASEAN-BAC 2022 Chair Neak Okhna Kith Meng on 4 March 2022.Ms Jukhee Hong, Chair of the Green and Sustainable Economy Working Group (GSE WG), presented the purpose and objectives for the working group, including creating a platform to promote, coordinate, collaborate and monitor current and future initiatives whilst helping to ensure that the collective voice of the private sector and its stakeholder champions are heard. Others who presented during the meeting include ASEAN-BAC Brunei Council Member Ms Haslina Taib who touched on the travel wallet initiative, and ASEAN-BAC Executive Director Mr Gil Gonzales who gave updates on the ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) priorities as presented by His Excellency Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of AEC during the 91st ASEAN-BAC Meeting held on 26 January 2022.