KUALA LUMPUR (July 3): The Covid-19 crisis is a reminder for Asean member states to modernise their economy and fully realise the potential of the intra-Asean market, said Asean secretary-general Datuk Lim Jock Hoi.
“It is quite evident that we need this in order to reinvigorate our economic growth” said Lim in a webinar organised by CIMB Asean Research Institute (CARI) entitled “How Can Asean Bounce Back”.
Lim added that Asean must forge ahead with the digital transformation agenda of its economy and business environment.
Stressing that digital transformation is the next driver of the region’s economic growth, Lim said that by 2025, this sector could add US$1 trillion (RM4.29 trillion) to Asean’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Lim also said that the ability of Asean to recover and thrive in a post-Covid-19 world is also contingent on human capital development.
He said the development of Asean nations’ human capital must be inclusive, and expand opportunities to all segments of society, especially in relation to vulnerable goods.
“As we look forward to a post-pandemic world, we need to address the region’s long-term resilience and promote sustainability in more aspects.
“There is a need to rethink our existing approaches to sustainability, which cannot be tackled from the environment perspective alone, but also from the perspective of financing, production, consumption, energy standards and so on.
“This an opportunity for us to push our agenda for sustainability in all aspects,” Lim added.
The secretary-general said it is invertible that Asean needs to play a more proactive role in the global arena.
“Asean shall continue to advance the interests and priorities of its people, while contributing to an open, rule-based, non-discriminatory and multilateral system, which best benefits small- and medium-sized economies.
“Asean shall participate in relevant reforms efforts, and in the multilateral system remains relevant, fair and inclusive,” he added.
Private sector investment in supply chain restoration can deepen economic integration, says AEC
RCEP free trade deal unlikely to come into force soon, says Asean sec-gen
Asean sec-gen stresses importance of digital technology in regional post-pandemic recovery