ASEAN must stay true and steadfast to our processes of integration, innovation, inclusivity and connectivity.

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April 2017 Highlights & Commentary

Written By Maria Townsend 09/5/2017
  
In addition to the informative luncheon dialogue by our guest speaker, the renowned economist Dr Jomo Kwame Sundaram, our team at Paddy Schubert Consultants Sdn Bhd also attended the ASEAN Summit held in Manila, Philippines.  The Summit consisted of the 30th ASEAN Leaders’ Summit as well as The 12th Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area Summit and 10th Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle Summit.
  
It was hosted by Philippine President Duterte, who put aside his eccentric and idiosyncratic ways to host the first of two ASEAN Summits in this milestone year as ASEAN celebrates its 50th anniversary.  
  
  
In an unusually presidential manner, Duterte played the perfect host and won the approval of other heads of state in his presidential address.

The main takeaway from the Summit was the emphasis on the need to engage the ASEAN community and the importance of MSMEs (Micro, Small-Scale and Medium Enterprises) to the ASEAN economy.  “ASEAN must stay true and steadfast to our processes of integration, innovation, inclusivity and connectivity,” stated Duterte.  MSMEs form the bulk of business throughout the ASEAN countries so there is no doubt in their importance in the development of the economy of the ASEAN countries.  Without sufficient funding and support, the MSME businesses will not flourish and thus negatively impact the economies. 

Discussions during the Summit also raised the extent of infrastructure problems in the Philippines, and the funding required to build adequate infrastructure.

Other notable events included the meeting between Paddy Schubert Consultants Sdn Bhd and the Philippine Secretary of Energy, Mr Al Cusi.  Mr Cusi indicated that the Philippines had a tremendous shortfall of energy supply; the reserve margin was only about 2-3%, which would present a major problem if there was a sudden spike, or increase in the demand for energy.  The country required heavy investment into the building of power stations and transmission lines, which will be a huge task for the Philippines to undertake.