Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia as the Keynote Speaker for the 5th Edition of The Economic Times Asian Business Leaders Conclave 2020
Organiser: The Economic Times
Topic: New Era in ASEAN Responsible and Inclusive Business
Speaking Role: Keynote Speaker

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid dismissed the notion that the coronavirus pandemic will necessarily be a catalyst for inclusive growth in Asia, or anywhere else.

He did not see any indications of positive change in human attitudes in inter-personal, societal, national and international relations as a result of common suffering from COVID-19 that would lead to such an end.

On the contrary there were many instances of individual and corporate behavior that point to the contrary. He highlighted in particular the intolerable living conditions of migrant workers which exposed them to the virus even as their companies reaped windfall profits from the manufacture of gloves.

He called on governments to enforce and corporates to observe greater social responsibility in the conduct of business. With digitalization there is a greater need to treat workers better, in terms of job displacement and of skill acquisition. There is a greater possibility to ensure sustainable development. But attitudes must change towards people and the environment before there will be inclusive growth.

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of ASEAN-BAC Malaysia as the Keynote Speaker for the ASEAN Responsible & Inclusive Business Forum (ARIBF) 2020
Organiser: ASEAN Responsible and Inclusive Business Alliance (ARAIBA)
Initiated by: ASEAN CSR Network & the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)
Topic: All-in for Digital Transformation
Speaking Role: Keynote Speaker

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid highlighted the activities of the ARAIBA in his keynote speech at the ARIBF, which includes efforts to promote the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), G20 Inclusive Business Framework, CSR Guidelines on Labour, as well as the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF) which was adopted in November 2020.

Tan Sri Munir also highlighted the proposals outlined in Pathway 225: ‘A Pathway Towards Recovery and Hope for ASEAN’ report to ensure an inclusive digital transformation that does not neglect workers’ welfare.

Other ASEAN-BAC Council Members who also served as panel speakers were Brunei’s Ms Siti Rozaimeriyanti, the Philippines’ Mr Joey Concepcion, Singapore’s Dr Robert Yap, and Thailand’s Khun Kobsak Duangdee.

From Left: Officials from Timor-Leste Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TLCCI), Timor Coffee Association, Timor Hotel Association and ASEAN Business Community

From Top Right: Dr. Doan Duy Khuong, Chair of ASEAN-BAC 2020, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council Malaysia, Mr. Gil Gonzales, Executive Director of ASEAN-BAC

Organiser: The ASEAN Secretariat
Topic: Timor-Leste Membership to ASEAN
Speaking Role: ASEAN-BAC Member’s Representative

In 2011, Timor-Leste submitted a formal membership request to ASEAN.

ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid, ASEAN-BAC 2020 Chair Dr Doan Duy Khuong, and ASEAN-BAC Executive Director Mr Gil Gonzales participated in a three-day meeting organised by the ASEAN Secretariat with senior economic officials from Timor-Leste.

Representing the Timor-Leste delegation were the Timor-Leste Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TLCCI), Timor Coffee Association, Timor Hotel Association, and the ASEAN business community in Timor Leste.

Also invited were the relevant Timor-Leste ministries, SEOM leaders, ASEAN economic officials, chairs of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) sectoral bodies, and the Asian Development Bank.

Tan Sri Munir suggested that TLCCI submit their findings on Timor-Leste’s public and private sector COVID-19 initiatives, and welcomed their input on the Pathway 225 report.

Mr Khuong and Mr Gil Gonzales both expressed their support on the addition of Timor-Leste to the ASEAN bloc, and they invited TLCCI representatives to participate in the first ABAC meeting in 2021.

From Left: Mr. Ajay Chaturvedi, Founder of SeedKapital (India), Ms. Bernese Ang, Chief Alchemist of Zeroth Labs (Singapore), Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid, Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (Malaysia), Ms. Kana Inagaki, Tokyo Correspondent of Financial Times
Organiser: Asia Pacific Initiative (API)
Topic: The Asian Response to COVID-19
Speaking Role: Panel Speaker

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.