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ASEAN Needs Public-Private Partnership Supply Chain

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As the world’s fastest-growing trade bloc, Asean needs help from both the public and private sectors to make its supply chain work well and reach its full potential.

Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry, said that trade between Asean countries is still a big part of trade for all Asean countries.

Intra-Asean trade has always made up the biggest part of the whole bloc’s trade. In 2020, 21.2% of all goods traded in the ASEAN region were traded within the region.

“Of course, we’re still trying to get through the pandemic, especially the problems with the supply chain, and we need to make sure it’s not just government efforts.

“But it should be a public-private partnership to solve supply chain problems across the region,” he told Bernama on the sidelines of the 2023 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

“We need to make sure people understand, because every country in the world is at a different stage of growth and development.”

– Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz

The minister said that every part of the supply chain, including freight and truck services, needs to work to solve the problem.

“The ports in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia, as well as the freight service and trucks, need to find better ways to solve problems. We know what the problems are, such as those with people, systems, standards, energy, and long-term viability,” he said.

It’s important to do this if you want to make the most of opportunities, especially now that China is opening up.

“I think there are a lot of chances for Asean as a whole. We are the group with the fastest growth in the world. There are 660 million people.

“The future will be good if we can make what we have better. Asean as a group is backed by comrades. We can talk to each other in different ways, and the sooner we take advantage of these options, the better,” the minister explained.

Even though the global economic outlook for 2023 isn’t great, there has been a lot of optimism at the WEF, especially from the Asean countries.

Luhut B. Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, told the forum that Asean is confident it can handle the headwinds around the world and stay on the path to growth.

“Indonesia is pretty sure that if it does its part, Asean can become the region’s centre of growth. He said this on January 18 at a meeting called “The Pulling Power of Asean.” Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Indonesia seem to be doing pretty well right now.

According to bloc figures, Asean’s total GDP will reach USD3.3 trillion (RM14.45 trillion) in 2021. This is 3.5% of the world’s GDP.

It said that Indonesia, which will lead Asean in 2023, has by far the biggest economy in the group.

The OECD says that Asean’s real GDP growth will be 5.2% between last year and 2023.

“We compete only in business. The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Health of Thailand, Anutin Charnvirakul, said at the same forum, “We don’t have any political disagreements or interfere with each other.” “If you look at how the Asean countries are made up geographically, we are the only area that connects the West to the East. No one could go through the eastern hemisphere without going through the Asean region.”

Tengku Zafrul said that the WEF gave countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand a chance to talk about issues like palm oil and environmental, social, and governance issues from the point of view of developing countries (ESG).

“We need to make sure people understand, because every country in the world is at a different stage of growth and development.

“So, you can’t use the same standard and the same policies to get everyone where they want to go,” he said.

“For instance, if we want to do something that developed countries have already done, we need a fair time frame for everyone. The road map can’t be the same for all of them; some might need a little more time and different tools (their goals).

“That’s why it’s important for emerging markets to speak with one voice and, most of all, be heard,” he said.

Info source – Bernama

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