Need to address non-tariff barriers within Asean

ADDRESSING non-tariff barriers (NTB) in Asean still has a long way to go, and member countries must first work on key people-centric focus groups in order to start progressing, said Asean Business Advisory Council Malaysia chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Munir Abdul Majid.

He said while the Asean Economic Community (AEC) is now a reality, concerns on the increasing NTB still exist, despite the fact that the tariff had been decreased significantly. “Have study groups, focus on the issue and bring in experts from other countries,” he said, when identifying key focus groups, namely in industries such as the healthcare, education, agri-food business, logistics, retail and e-commerce.

“Even the World Trade Organisation had said that the concerns on NTB were far more serious than the tariff itself. Asean NTB must be addressed if you want to have a free movement of goods,” he said on the sidelines of the Khazanah Megatrends Forum 2016, here, yesterday.

Last month, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said NTB — regarded as the main stumbling block in the shaping of the AEC — had been progressively reduced since the issue was raised by the 10 member countries four years ago.

Mustapa said 69 NTB cases had been reported and some 49 cases had been resolved through intensive consultation and peer review. Meanwhile, Munir said it is equally important to further cultivate another two Asean pillars, besides AEC — the Asean Political-Security Community and Asean Socio-Cultural Community.

“We see little development in these two pillars as compared with the AEC.”

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ASEAN Business Awards 2016: SRW&Co. Grants AGLP Scholarships for Entrepreneurs and SMEs

Jakarta, 23 June 2016: The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and  SRW&Co signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on 23rd June 2016 at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, to launch a strategic partnership. The milestone MOA was signed by Oudet Souvannavong representing the ASEAN-BAC and Daniel Wong of SRW&Co.

The MoA grants scholarship to the winners of the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) 2016, as part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit program agenda in Lao PDR on September 2016. There are three scholarships for the winners in the categories of “Young Entrepreneur of The Year”, “Woman Entrepreneur of The Year”, and “The Most Innovative SME”, who will attend the ASEAN Global Leadership Program (AGLP) in 2017 at one of the leading universities and business schools.

The ASEAN Global Leadership Program (AGLP) is a custom designed 5-day program focusing on the 4 key themes of Globalization, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership. The programs aim to provide a learning platform for the participants to address the challenges and opportunities in the AEC context, while promoting business networking for the participants from the South East Asia countries. The first AGLP was launched in 2009 in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Judge Business School in UK, followed by the Cheung Kong Graduate of Business in China, the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business in USA, and the London Business School in UK. To date, the AGLP Alumni comprise some 250 top executives at the C-suite and Board level in the corporate sector, including policy makers and regulators from the public sector.

As the grantor of the prestigious scholarship, SRW&Co. is a regional management consulting firm providing specialist services in designing and implementing a full range of integrated people management and development solutions to help organizations improve their business performance.To complement the company’s people management consulting service offering, SRW&Co. had ventured  into executive education since 2008 by collaborating with the ivy league business schools and world class universities to design and deliver their flagship ASEAN Global Leadership Programs (AGLP) in Europe, China, and USA.

ASEAN-BAC was created by the ASEAN Leaders in 2003 comprising leading CEOs, heads of chambers of commerce and industry, and business organizations from the ASEAN member states to provide feedback and guidance to the ASEAN Leaders and to facilitate and fast track the regional economic integration efforts.

Its objective is to provide private sector feedback on the implementation of ASEAN Economic Cooperation and identify priority areas for consideration of the Leaders. Some of its activities include reviewing and identifying issues to facilitate and promote economic cooperation and integration and submit annual recommendations for the consideration of the Leaders and ASEAN Economic Ministers, and to socialize the working concept of  the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) to the private sector.



Kuala Lumpur, 21 November 2015: ASEAN Business & Investment Summit (ABIS) 2015, hosted by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) on 20th and 21st November, called upon businesses across ASEAN to embrace the impending establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The summit also called upon broader group of public and private sector attendees to work together for the growth of ASEAN region. The first day of the Summit was inaugurated by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak and attended by several ASEAN Economic Ministers. The second day of the Summit was attended by the President of the United States, Barack Obama, the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. Speaking to ASEAN businesses and leaders, the three leaders spoke about the importance of increased partnership between ASEAN and other nations for sustainable socio-economic growth.

Day one highlights

Attended by over 800 people, Day One of the Summit involved open and robust discussions about how to advance the public-private partnership (PPP) agenda, seen as critical in ensuring ASEAN economic development that is sustainable and beneficial to its people and future generations. Day Two of ABIS, following speeches by the American, Japanese and Indian heads of state, saw increased focus on SMEs with targeted dialogues and the launch of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025.

Key highlights of Day One, 20 November:

    • Handover of the ASEAN report by Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid to the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Najib Razak
    • Launch of the ‘Growth Accelerator Exchange’ (GAX)
    • Launch of OECD Economic Outlook for Southeast Asia report


Kuala Lumpur, 22 November 2015: Hosted by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), a total of nineteen companies and individuals across ASEAN received top honours at the recently-held annual ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) 2015. The awards recognise their contribution to the growth and prosperity of the region

Launched in 2007 to mark ASEAN’s 40th anniversary, the ABA 2015 was held in Malaysia for the very first time this year. Judged by a regional panel from 10 ASEAN countries and ABA’s Strategic Partner BDO, the awards honour outstanding ASEAN large businesses, individuals and SMEs in four key areas: Growth, Employment, Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility.

In conjunction of the inauguration of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) this year, ABA 2015 also introduced all-new categories of Friends of ASEAN Awards and the ASEAN Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of three top non-ASEAN companies and a luminary who have contributed significantly to the region.

The recipients of the ABA 2015 were:

ASEAN Priority Integration Sectors

  1. Agro – SL Agritech Corporation (Philippines)
  2. Automotive – DRB-Hicom Berhad (Malaysia)
  3. Aviation – AirAsia Berhad (Malaysia)
  4. e-ASEAN – Myanmar Information Technology Pte. Ltd. (Myanmar)
  5. Electronics – G Gear Co. Ltd (Cambodia)
  6. Fisheries – QL Resources Berhad (Malaysia)
  7. Healthcare – Health Management International Limited (Singapore)
  8. Logistics – LBC Express Inc. (Philippines)
  9. Rubber-based – Kossan Rubber Industries Bhd. (Malaysia)
  10. Textile – Color Silk Co. Ltd (Cambodia)
  11. Tourism – Myanmar Voyages International Tourism Co. Ltd (Myanmar)
  12. Wood-based – Pointray (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)

SME Excellence Awards

  1. Employment – ProEight Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)
  2. Growth – Wise Concetti Ltd. (Vietnam)
  3. Innovation – ViTrox Technologies Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)
  4. Corporate Social Responsibility – VG Offshore Containers International (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Malaysia)

Entrepreneur awards

  1. Young entrepreneur – Thadoe Hein from Myanma Awba Group (Myanmar)
  2. Woman entrepreneur – Daw Nan Than Htwe from Kanbawza Bank Ltd. (Myanmar)

Friends of ASEAN

  1. Michelin
  2. Robert Bosch (SEA) Pte. Ltd.
  3. Prudential Corporation Asia

ASEAN Lifetime Achievement Award

  1. Y. Bhg Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz

Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid, Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), said: “My heartiest congratulations to all recipients who have been at the forefront of progress in the region. Also for the first time, Asean-BAC has decided, in this AEC inauguration year, to accord the Asean Lifetime Achievement Award which goes to Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz in recognizing her stellar efforts. Her hard work has helped raise the profile of ASEAN, as well as bringing the region to greater heights,”

“Today’s awards are a testament to the recipients’ efforts, quality of delivery and their contribution to the region. With the imminent establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of this year, I am certain that the recipients will also be at the forefront of guiding its peers.”

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