Selangor Journal
A woman passes Asean Summit flags at Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore, on November 11, 2018. — Picture by REUTERS

Southeast Asia could turn into economic powerhouse by 2040 — Report

MELBOURNE, March 4 — Southeast Asia’s favourable demographics, industrialisation and urbanisation trends and technological advances will increasingly make it an economic powerhouse to 2040 and beyond, hence, making it a major opportunity for Australian business.

Based on the Invested: Australia’s South East Asia Economic Strategy to 2040, a report developed by Special Envoy for Southeast Asia Nicholas Moore, Southeast Asia and Australia share bright economic growth prospects, geographical proximity, economic complementarity, and a need for trade diversification.

The report, which is a blueprint for deepening Australia’s economic engagement with the Asean region, was launched by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in September last year.

In preparing the report, Moore met with more than 750 individuals in Southeast Asia and Australia across governments, businesses and civil society, and received around 200 submissions through a public consultation process.

“When I was putting together this report, I met with over 700 different people and we received over 200 submissions, all reflected this confidence in terms of the importance of how the regions are to Australia,” said Moore in his small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) conference keynote address during the 2024 Asean-Australia Special Summit at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), here today.

The three-day summit marks the 50th anniversary of Australia’s dialogue partnership with Asean.

The strategy outlines a practical pathway to significantly increase two-way trade and investment between Australia and Southeast Asia.

The Australian government is considering the 75 recommendations included in the report.

Four categories of required actions to realise the commercial potential between Australia and Southeast Asia as outlined in the report are raising awareness, removing blockages, building capacity and deepening investment.

The strategy examines 10 priority sectors, namely agriculture and food; resources; green energy transition; infrastructure; education and skills; visitor economy; healthcare; digital economy; professional and financial services; and creative industries.

The Australian government will support the immediate implementation of the strategy through three priority initiatives; which are investment deal teams with new dedicated public and private sector teams to identify, develop and facilitate investment in commercial projects in the region.

Another initiative is having a Southeast Asia Business Exchange Programme to grow trade through targeted sectoral business missions to help SMEs enter the market, including a Southeast Asia trade and investment promotion campaign in Australia.

The last one is developing a pilot exchange programme for young professionals with Australian and Southeast Asian businesses to foster enduring commercial links.

— Bernama

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