ASEAN-BAC Malaysia hosted three Virtual Dialogue sessions on 22 February 2021 to consolidate feedback for its Pathway for Malaysia 2021 Report. The sessions, which were hosted by ASEAN-BAC Deputy Executive Director Ms Jukhee Hong, was attended by over 70 participants from 46 business associations.
Session 1: Trade Associations and Chambers of Commerce
Moderator: ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member, Mr Raja Singham
The discussion focused on the varying stages of ASEAN’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and what the government can do to provide immediate relief for businesses during this period. This includes easing the approval process for private sector financial assistance, as well as raising awareness on the benefits of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).
Session 2: Professional Bodies
Moderator: ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Council Member, Tan Sri Yong Poh Kon
The dialogue revolved around the lacklustre performance of Malaysia’s trade in services due to its uncompetitive and unattractive labour market.
Session 3: Foreign Business Associations and Business Councils
Moderator: ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid
The dialogue centred on the harmonization of freight charges and tariffs in intra-ASEAN trade as well as the simplification of foreign investment processes to promote inflows during the pandemic.
The recommendations collected during the dialogues served as a baseline for the Pathway for Malaysia 2021 Report.
with Business Sweden
Moderator: H.E. Nur Ashikin Mohd Taib, Ambassador of Malaysia in
Topic: Business Opportunities between ASEAN and Sweden:
Innovation and Sustainability – The Way Of The Future
The seminar highlighted how businesses in ASEAN and Sweden could benefit from each other in the area of innovation and sustainability.
ASEAN-BAC Malaysia Chairman Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir Majid touched on Brunei’s Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs), the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on tourism in the region, as well as recommendations for ASEAN’s recovery covered in the Pathway 225 report.
Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Munir stressed that ASEAN should not merely pay lip service to sustainable development, but also look to educate the public on what they stand to benefit from the convergence of public health, digitalization, and education.
Swedish Ambassador Camilla Mellander, for her part, drew attention to new technologies being developed in Sweden, including advancements being made in the field of hydrogen energy. Ms Mellander is also the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Head of Department for Trade.