11th ASEAN and Asia Forum
Charting ASEAN towards a Sustainable and Digital Future
Singapore’s ASEAN Chairmanship comes at a time of rapid transformation and challenges on many fronts. The region is in need of funding to address its massive infrastructure gaps and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) offers some promising solutions. Technological advances are redefining global value chains and the broader trade ecosystem. At the same time, growing transboundary threats – such as terrorism, climate change and cybersecurity – are calling into question how ASEAN economies can simultaneously stay competitive, build resilience and develop in a sustainable manner.
In conversation with Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance, Singapore
Moderator: Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Singapore, as a leading financial centre, is facing growing pressure to consider sustainability in its financing activities. While the infrastructure sector presents huge opportunities in ASEAN – an estimated $1.7 trillion per year until 2030 – there remains much room for private financing. In the face of possible high environmental and social costs, green finance offers a promising solution by addressing Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk factors at the early stages. In serving the region’s financing needs, Singapore can play a pivotal role to mainstream green finance and facilitate more capital flows into sustainable infrastructure.
Associate Professor Simon Tay, Chairman, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
Industry 4.0 is expected to unlock ASEAN’s next growth chapter. As a new engine for long term economic growth, the digital economy is set to transform the region, generate jobs, create new sectors and promote inclusive growth across the region. Although this next phase of growth will result in ASEAN economies becoming more competitive and resilient, the task at hand is considerable. ASEAN’s uneven regulations, digital divide and large connectivity deficits continue to present huge roadblocks.
Ms. Chen Chen Lee, Director, Policy Programmes, Singapore Institute of International Affairs
*Conference programme is subject to changes (updated 29 August 2018)