Asean Business Summit
March 16, 2022
By Bloomberg Live
The Covid-19 pandemic gave the world a unique challenge that hadn’t been seen for over a century. As the world gets back on its feet haltingly, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the biggest assault on a European state since World War II, has upended any hopes of a swift recovery.
The pandemic spurred innovations in the region, leading to a surge of breakthrough technology from healthcare and education to connectivity and logistics. The region is also looking to boost green financing with major nations pledging net zero targets after COP 26. The newly-enacted Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is also poised to strengthen trade in the region.
The Bloomberg Asean Business Summit brings together key players to discuss the region’s future.
Click here to view the video of the Asean Business Summit program.
- H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, (Ret.) Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand
- Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Singapore
- Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Education, Republic of Singapore
- Wai-Shin Chan, Head of Climate Change Centre of Excellence and Global Head of ESG Research, HSBC
- Benjamin Diokno, Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
- Carlos Dominguez, Secretary of Finance, Republic of the Philippines
- Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia
- Xue Kai Pang, CEO, Tokocrypto
- Budi Gunadi Sadikin, Minister of Health, Republic of Indonesia
- Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia
- Sheila Warren, CEO, Crypto Council for Innovation
- Amanda Murphy, Head of Commercial Banking, South and Southeast Asia, HSBC
- Dr. Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific, WHO
- Le Thi Thu Thuy, Global CEO, VinFast
- Haslinda Amin, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
- Michelle Cortez, Senior Reporter, Editor, Bloomberg
- David Ingles, Anchor, Bloomberg Television
- Joanna Ossinger, Reporter, Bloomberg
- Juliette Saly, Anchor, Reporter, Bloomberg Television
Panel Discussion on Monetary Policies
“The conflict in Ukraine is a real tragedy,” Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus, Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia said when asked about inflation in the region. “The conflict has led to a surge in commodity prices. This could weigh on global economic recovery.”
Shamsiah said that it’s still early to size the impact of the conflict. The effect will depend on the length, breadth, and depth of the conflict, countermeasures, and policy reactions. Ms. Nor expects Malaysia to remain on a recovery path against inflation.
The Philippine central bank is sticking to its plan to start raising interest rates in the second half of the year, as it monitors risks from the war in Ukraine and the U.S. rates liftoff, Benjamin Diokno, Governor, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said.
“On the adjustment of the policy rate, it will probably take place maybe second half of the year,” Diokno said. “That’s still our plan,” he said, echoing earlier statements on keeping the key rate at a record low 2% in the first half to nurture the recovery.
Spotlight Interview: Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Singapore
Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Singapore, condemned Russia’s attack on Ukraine, repeatedly calling it “egregious”.
“The big issue now is what decisions and actions China takes,” Balakrishnan said. “If you get a deepening of the bifurcation of the global economy, of supply chains, of technology, this will be a very, very different world.”
Panel Discussion on Fiscal Policies
Indonesia will consider the strength of economic recovery before finalizing a decision to raise prices of fuel and electricity, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia said.
“We’ll be very selective. We’ll be very measured. We will look at the strength of our own recovery,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said during Bloomberg Live’s Asean Business Summit on Wednesday. “But at the same time, we have to be committed to fiscal consolidation.”
The Philippines plans to cut taxes on food imports to curb broad price pressures, Carlos Dominguez, Secretary of Finance, Republic of the Philippines said.
“To ease the potential inflation on food, we are going to drop tariffs on food items that we import,” Dominguez said.
Bridging the Great Health Divide
Indonesia is calling on the International Monetary Fund to take on the role of preparing finances for the next global health emergency.
The IMF could extend its mandate beyond responding to economic and monetary crises to address challenges in funding international health measures, Indonesia’s Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said.
The multilateral lender “can assume the risks with very clear structures and also modalities, they leverage funds as big as they can and quickly disburse it,” he said.
Dr. Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director for the Western Pacific, WHO, said that the region is now doing relatively well in terms of vaccine distribution and access. “Vaccine is important, but vaccines alone cannot contain the pandemic,” he said, emphasizing the importance of combining vacation with other social distancing measures.
Catalyzing Asia’s Low-Carbon Economy
Le Thi Thu Thuy, Global CEO, VinFast, said that while higher prices for nickel, a key component in the lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars, do pose a challenge ahead of its global EV rollout, the Vietnamese company is sticking to its targets.
“We’re sticking to our plans to start delivering EVs to international markets this year,” she said.
According to Wai-Shin Chan, Head of Climate Change Centre of Excellence and Global Head of ESG Research, HSBC, one of the 2022 climate change aims was for countries and companies to revisit their pledges. “Now we’re seeing some changes because people are having to rethink their fuel sources, rethink their energy, and rethink the way they do those plans,” he said.
Spotlight Interview: Averting Asia’s Lost Generation
Singapore plans to move more school lessons online and make better use of technology to improve the learning and teaching experience, the country’s Minister of Education Chan Chun Sing said.
Transmission of knowledge can be done via digital channels, which will free up in-person school time for pupils to sharpen their collaborative skills and creativity, Chan said. The minister also sees technology as “a great enabler” that helps lighten the workload of teachers and accelerate the pace of education.
The Future of Money
“I think we’ve seen that crypto, like technology, is really a tool. So we’ve seen it used by the Ukrainian government to basically crowdfund a defense, which is a staggering concept, unprecedented in human history,” Sheila Warren, CEO, Crypto Council for Innovation said.
“There’s a huge emphasis on NFTs and metaverses,” Xue Kai Pang, CEO, Tokocrypto said. Kai. He believes that we should now focus on how to integrate crypto into our everyday lives and payment channels, e.g. payment for electricity or gas. Address by the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand
Spotlight Address by H.E. General Prayut Chan-o-cha, (Ret.) Prime Minister, Kingdom of Thailand
Thailand is realigning its economic policies to ensure a sustainable and inclusive phase of growth in the post-Covid period, according to Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha, after the pandemic widened income inequalities and pushed the nation’s unemployment rate to multi-year highs.
While returning economic growth to a pre-pandemic pace is on every country’s agenda, “the fallout of Covid 19 has caused countries to reassess and rebuild their strengths to move forward on a stable path to recovery,” Prayuth said.
“At a critical juncture where we move toward a post Covid-19 recovery, Thailand strives to build back toward a more sustainable, resilient and inclusive economic growth,” said Prayuth, whose government was one of the first in the region to adopt a “living with Covid” strategy.
next generation of employees enters the workplace, bringing their own voices and views to issues around workplace equality, we convene global leaders on the front lines
Bloomberg Asean Business Summit is Proudly Sponsored By