10th Asean Leadership Forum
Date : 18th July 2013
Venue : Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Petaling Jaya
ASEAN Leaders recently met in Brunei on 26th April 2013 for the 22nd ASEAN Summit and will meet again in October this year. In this regard, the 10th ASEAN Leadership Forum will be held in Petaling Jaya on 18th July 2013. The ASEAN Leadership Forum is held annually around the time of the ASEAN Summit each year to discuss the critical issues and strategic challenges facing ASEAN and the business and investment opportunities in the region resulting from closer regional economic integration.
ASEAN has come a long way with 4C's of ASEAN very much in place - The ASEAN CHARTER. ASEAN COMMUNITY, ASEAN CONNECTIVITY and ASEAN CENTRALITY. At the 21st ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh in November 2012, ASEAN Leaders agreed to launch negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) which will become the world's largest Free Trade Area with a combined population of 3 billion. This Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership Agreement will become the 5th C of Asean and covers the 10 countries of ASEAN: China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. RCEP will create even more business and investment opportunities in the region.
The ASEAN Leaders have also clearly established a deadline of the 31st December 2015 for the achievement of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). The realisation of the AEC will be a big step for ASEAN as intra-ASEAN trade has increased substantially while AFTA-China-ASEAN Trade has also grown since the coming into effect of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA) with China now becoming ASEAN's largest trading partner and ASEAN becoming China's 8th largest trading partner, ASEAN's GDP has exceeded USD 2 trillion.
At the same time, the ASEAN Leaders have also at the last Summit in November 2012 adopted the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration following the earlier establishment of the ASEAN Inter-Governmental Commision on HUman Rights. The road towards human rights promotion and protection in ASEAN is one key strategic challenge. At the same time ASEAN needs to close the development gaps and income inequalities within the region with ASEAN member states having different stages of development. Disaster management and non-traditional security challenges such as food security, energy security, climate change and transnational crimes are other issues that ASEAN needs to address.
In his keynote to the 9th ASEAN Leadership Forum last year, Prime MInister of Malaysia Dato' Sri Mohd Najib stressed there are 3 key areas that ASEAN needs to focus on: investing in human development, focusing on innovation and creativity and focusing on the younger generation.
The 10th ASEAN Leadership Forum will bring together government, business. civil society and thought leaders to reflect on ASEAN's achievements and successes, its shortcomings and the challenges and opportunities ahead. The Forum will also provide a strategic platform for the best minds in ASEAN to discuss the road ahead for ASEAN and what the future holds for the region.