ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid participated in the forum’s opening session on “The Asian Response to COVID-19”, which revolved around discussions on “Balancing Contagion Prevention and Reopening Economies”. Also on the panel were SeedKapital’s Mr Ajay Chaturvedi, Zeroth Labs’ Ms Bernise Ang, and moderator Ms Kana Inagaki.
Tan Sri Munir spoke about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the ASEAN economy, which expects a 3.8% decline in GDP this year despite having seen a steady 5.3% average annual growth rate in the last decade.
How long it will take for the region to recover remains to be seen. And it is not aided by the fact that while ASEAN’s regional bodies are good at coming up with blueprints, execution—especially timely execution—remains much to be desired.
Tan Sri Munir also raised the need for proper regulatory frameworks to support businesses, especially the accelerating number of firms who now rely on the digital realm for their bread and butter. And it takes good government to come up with such regulatory frameworks, he said.
He further emphasised seven critical areas for investment in ASEAN: 5G technology, cybersecurity, EdTech, FinTech, e-commerce, telemedicine, and green technology.