President's Newsletter - January 2020

Alexander C. Feldman
Alexander C. Feldman
President & CEO
US-ASEAN Business Council

Dear Members, 

Happy Lunar New Year!   May the Year of the Mouse be a great one for each of you as well as your families and organizations.  
2020 is off to a great (and busy) start for ASEAN and for the Council though we are certainly watching closely developments around the spreading Coronavirus and realize that many of our members businesses have been hit hard in China and are carefully monitoring the situation in Asia.  

APEC activities return to Southeast Asia this year as Malaysia takes on the role of Chair, and we are looking forward to once again co-Chairing the US-APEC Business Coalition along with NC APEC and the U.S Chamber of Commerce.   We are working hard to ensure that our member companies have the opportunity to take advantage of the many engagements that will be hosted in Malaysia. “Optimizing Human Potential towards a Future of Shared Prosperity” was identified as this year’s APEC theme. The theme is anchored by two main pillars identified by Malaysia, namely (i) economic growth that ensures no one left behind; and (ii) equitable participation and benefit from the economic growth.  Malaysia’s year will seek to address unequal distribution of economic growth in the age of digital disruption, between and within the APEC economies focusing on women empowerment, youth development, entrepreneurship and sustainable development. 

We will also be working closely with Vietnam to ensure that Vietnam’s vision for a “Responsive and Cohesive ASEAN” during its ASEAN Chairmanship year.  In 2020, Vietnam will aim to build on the achievements and efforts of Thailand and other previous chairs, while working with members to identify the future direction of ASEAN through 2025 and beyond.    

Vietnam will also lead ASEAN during the ASEAN-U.S. Leaders’ Summit in the United States in mid-March.  This Summit will take place five years after ASEAN formally recognized the U.S. as a Strategic Partner.  2020 also marks the final year of the first Plan of Action to Implement the ASEAN-U.S. Strategic Partnership.   The Summit will present an opportunity to take stock of this special relationship and set in motion a plan for the next five years building on the base of the first five-year plan.  We currently expect most the ASEAN leaders to join President Trump as the leaders of ASEAN and America meet on U.S. soil for only their second summit.   President Duterte of the Philippines and Prime Minister Mahathir of Malaysia have both indicated that they will skip the Summit.  

The Summit with ASEAN will offer an opportunity for President Trump to reinforce the importance of ASEAN to the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Policy as well as the President’s commitment to ASEAN after missing the last two East Asia and ASEAN-US Summits in Singapore and Bangkok.   The Council is working with the U.S. Government on the Summit and its deliverables.   

On the heels of the ASEAN-U.S. Summit, the Council will be organizing the ASEAN Economic Ministers’-ASEAN Digital Ministers’(AEM-ADGMIN) Digital Economy Roadshow to the United States from 16-20 March in San Diego and San Francisco. The Council has invited all 10 ASEAN Economic Ministers, all 10 ASEAN Telecommunications and Information Technology Ministers, and the ASEAN Secretary General to participate in the roadshow. The roadshow will focus on engaging the U.S. private sector and exploring areas related to investment, innovation and digital economic development and eCommerce, as well as engaging local stakeholders including local government and universities. The goals of the AEM-ADGMIN Digital Economy Roadshow to the United States will be to focus on the importance of devising digital and economic policies that, in mutually reinforcing each other, improve the economy’s resilience and sustainability, as well as the overall business environment. 

On January 13-16, the Council led its annual mission to the 23rd Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Brunei, supporting the theme of “ASEAN: Together towards a Next Generation of Travel.” During the mission, the Council pushed for innovation including sharing insights from the digital economy and offering best practices in human capability building as ASEAN aims to position itself as a single destination for tourism. This marks the Council’s 3rd annual delegation to the Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, since its inaugural mission to the 21st Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 

On January 14, the Council hosted the Honorable Peter Haymond, U.S. Ambassador to Laos prior to his taking up his new post within the next several weeks. The roundtable served as an excellent opportunity to raise with Ambassador Haymond the issues that U.S. companies face in Laos.  

On January 24, the Council hosted a similar roundtable with the Honorable Michael G. DeSombre, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand prior to his taking up his new post. Amb. DeSombre was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next Ambassador to Thailand on January 8 and will be arriving in Bangkok this week.  Ambassador DeSombre has spent more than two decades practicing law and helping American firms in Asia from a Hong Kong base.   He is bringing a pro-business agenda and focus as he starts his time in the Kingdom of Thailand and benefited from a robust discussion with our members.  He is looking forward to having Ambassadors Murphy and Haymond as neighbors especially since both Ambassadors served as Deputy Chiefs of Mission in Thailand during their careers.  

The Strategic Review: The Indonesian Journal of Leadership, Policy and World Affairs, featured my essay titled America 2020: Why ASEAN Matters as its cover story for its January 2020 edition.  In the essay, I examine the geopolitical, security, people-to-people and, I would argue most importantly, the economic aspects of America’s relationship with Southeast Asia. I made the case for ASEAN’s vitality to American trade and security and concluded that whomever wins the American presidency in 2020 will have a compelling set of reasons to ensure that the upward trajectory of the relationship between Asean and the United States continues well into the next decade. To read the essay, please click here.  

On behalf of the entire staff of the US-ASEAN Business Council, I want to wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous Lunar New Year as we welcome the Year of the Mouse! Just as the mouse is the first zodiac animal and represents the beginning of a new day, prosperity and cunning, we hope the new lunar year will bring good health, happiness and success to you and your family. 

Sincerely, 

Alex
 

 

January Highlights

The Council kicked off 2020 with a business mission to the 23rd Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers (23rd M-ATM) on January 13-16, 2020 in Brunei. Global tourism and technology companies Expedia, Marriott, Airbnb, Agoda, and SAP comprised the delegation and met all 10 ASEAN Tourism Ministers and Senior Officials, the Japan Tourism Agency, and the US Embassy in Bandar Darussalam. Cambodia will host the next ASEAN Travel Forum and 24th M-ATM on January 17-21, 2021.

The Strategic Review: The Indonesian Journal of Leadership, Policy and World Affairs, featured my essay titled America 2020: Why ASEAN Matters as its cover story for its January 2020 edition. In the essay, I examine the geopolitical, security, people-to-people and, I would argue most importantly, the economic aspects of America’s relationship with Southeast Asia. I made the case for ASEAN’s vitality to American trade and security and concluded that whomever wins the American presidency in 2020 will have a compelling set of reasons to ensure that the upward trajectory of the relationship between Asean and the United States continues well into the next decade. To read the essay, please click here.

 

Country, Industry and Advocacy Updates

 

Key Developments

  • Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Pandjaitan reveals United States investment commitment for Indonesia
    On January 10, the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Pandjaitan, announced the U.S. is committed to investing in Indonesia through the newly established International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). Minister Luhut will discuss the deals in the next two months with DFC’s CEO, Adam Boehler. According to Minister Luhut, the DFC is prospectively looking at making investments of USD 5 billion worth in Indonesia. They have discussed possible deals in the area of energy and infrastructure sectors in Indonesia. The DFC was created by President Trump’s Better Utilization of Investments Leading to Development (BUILD) Act of 2018. The DFC upgrades and combines the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and the Development Credit Authority (DCA) of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with an investment cap of USD 60 billion and an array of new financial tools. Analysts see the DFC as an attempt by the United States to provide direct competition to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Through the DFC, Indonesia will propose cooperation in North Sumatra, North Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, and Bali corridors, where the government plans for 28 projects worth USD 91.1 billion. It was reported that previously, the Government of Indonesia had offered these projects to the Government of China under the BRI program. Nevertheless, once these projects go underway, the new infrastructure investment may give Indonesia an economic stimulation to compete with neighboring countries like Vietnam and Thailand.
  • Malaysia Central Bank Enables e-KYC rollout
    On December 16, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) issued the Exposure Draft on Electronic Know-Your-Customer (e-KYC), which outlines proposed requirements and guidance for implementing e-KYC solutions for the onboarding of individuals to the financial sector. The e-KYC process is a set of required verification steps that banks must execute on customers to prevent financial crimes on digital platforms. The requirements in the Exposure Draft will address: (1) enabling safe and secure application of e-KYC technology in the financial sector, (2) facilitating BNM’s continued ability to carry out effective supervisory oversight over financial institutions, and (3) ensuring effective Anti-money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) control measures. Financial institutions have anticipated the rollout of e-KYC regulations for the industry for some time, and banks have strongly advocated for the use of e-KYC in customer onboarding for the purposes of convenience and lowering costs of financial services. A McKinsey Global Institute study recently found enabling e-KYC could reduce the costs of customer onboarding by 90%, while the use of digital ID services could bring financial services access to 1.7 billion-plus unbanked individuals. BNM has already released e-KYC guidance for remittance companies and money changers in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
  • Vietnam sets 2020 goals for the agricultural sector
    2019 has been a turbulent year for Vietnam’s agriculture sector. African Swine Fever (ASF) shook the livestock industry, leading to the culling of 5.9 million pigs. Hanoi alone lost 30 per cent of its herd, accounting for a loss of VND 1 trillion (US$43.1 million). Furthermore, agricultural restructuring outpaced the building of new rural areas leading to significant developmental gaps between localities. There has also been limited progress made on resolving issues such as Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing; mitigating the risk of diseases affecting livestock & crops and unsatisfactory food hygiene standards. The prices of Vietnamese agricultural and aqua-cultural commodities have also been reduced by 10 and 15 per cent respectively. Despite these circumstances, Vietnam recorded a turnover of US$41.3 billion for agricultural and aqua-cultural exports, an increase of 3.5 per cent compared to 2018. The agriculture sector generated a trade surplus of US$9.9 billion, increasing by 14 per cent in 2019 compared to 2018. The industry has also expanded rapidly. Two thousand seven hundred new agricultural enterprises were established in 2019, bringing the number of agri-businesses to 12,581 ‒ An increase of 25.3 per cent compared to 2018. See more.
  • Philippine Government to tighten rice import restrictions
    On November 21, 2019, the Duterte Administration decided against suspending all imports of rice and instead choose to tighten import restriction. Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food, Senator Cynthia Villar stated that the aim of restrictions was to help stabilize local prices and protect farmers from cheap imports. The Senator also shared that rice imports would be limited to 1.5 million MT, enough to supplement annual rice consumption in the Philippines. The Department of Agriculture (DOA) and the Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI) will impose restrictions by tightening their phytosanitary standards, and limiting the number of rice importers. The stricter phytosanitary standards will not violate the Rice Tariffication Law which the country enacted in compliance with the World Trade Organization commitments. Stricter food safety regulations have helped decrease the volume of rice imports. The DOA reported that tighter food safety restrictions had limited rice imports to 85,000 MT in October 2019, from 254,000 MT in the first nine months of 2019. The President has also ordered the National Food Authority (NFA) to double the national emergency rice buffer to stock 30 days of supply, allowing local producers another outlet to profit from their produce.
  • Thailand to boost competitiveness of their agricultural goods
    On January 1, 2020, Thailand's Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister, Chalermchai Sri-on, announced that the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives had set measures to boost the competitiveness of agricultural products and foods by 10 per cent to cope with the prolonged appreciation of the baht. To achieve this goal, Minister Chalermchai outlined five measures: The development of logistics across the agri-value chain, product development to increase product value, developing agricultural machinery, the promotion of smart agriculture and enhancing online trading management to increase market channels. The Minister also highlighted the importance of agricultural technology promotion and agricultural logistics committees in conjunction with increased cooperation from government agencies, academics, private industry and farmers as being crucial in driving the competitiveness of Thailand’s food and agriculture sector. Thailand is also moving to modernize its agricultural sector by investing in IT services and innovation. At the centre of this push is the National Agriculture Big Data Centre, which will function as a central information database that can be accessed by farmers and the private sector through the "Digital Farmer" phone application and computer program. Twenty-two departments under the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry will also provide online services from January 1, 2020. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives also plans to establish Agritech and Innovation Centres in 77 provinces by the end of 2020.
  • Vietnam Officially Launches ASEAN Chairmanship Year and Announces Themes, Priorities
    On January 6, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc chaired a ceremony in Hanoi to officially launch Vietnam’s 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship under the theme of a cohesive and responsive ASEAN. In his remarks, Prime Minister Phuc commented on the consistent responsible contributions Vietnam has made to ASEAN cooperation throughout its 25 years of membership, and the country looks forward to taking on the major responsibilities this year, both at the regional and international levels. Prime Minister Phuc noted that Vietnam is committed to further building and growing the ASEAN community, with increased connectivity and global integration being key priorities. ASEAN already has signed six Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with seven top trade partners in the world. Vietnam sees its Chairmanship year as an opportunity to foster connectivity and deepen integration within and beyond the region, on the basis of innovation, stability and the growing influence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. See more.
  • Vietnamese Government’s 2020 Regulation Resolutions Include Improving Ease of Doing Business, Increasing Tax Compliance, and Tightening Data Security
    Entering 2020, the Vietnamese Government continues to prioritize improving the business environment and national competitiveness in pursuant of Government Resolution No.02. During an online conference with the Ministry of Finance to launch 2020 tasks on January 10 in Hanoi, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted Vietnam’s achievement in its ranking of the World Bank’s Global Competitiveness Index which jumped 10 places to 67, making it the most improved country in 2019. To further boost competitiveness, the Government has announced a range of targets across its Ministries and Offices, including regulations on tax and customs and laws on investment, enterprises and land. See more.
  • Myanmar’s Ministry of Health and Sports identifies national critical health issues in 2020
    Health and Sports Minister U Myint Htwe has identified patient safety, public and private health facilities, hospital information systems, health literacy and school health as the crucial health issues that the Government of Myanmar will prioritize in 2020. The Minister also emphasized developing national medical supply chain management and medical staff training as areas where additional resources will be invested. Other plans the ministry will pursue in 2020 include: Non-communicable disease surveillance and control; medical ethics in research and public health; adopting e-health systems; budget management and promoting a healthy lifestyle campaign called “exercise is medicine”. The Government of Myanmar has budgeted approximately K1.2 trillion (U.S.$812.3 million) to the Ministry of Health and Sport for 2019-2020, a 9% increase from last year. See more.
  • Philippine Senate Approves Bill on Alcohol and E-cigarette Excise Tax HikeOn December 18, 2019, Philippine congress ratified Bill No.1074, which will increase the excise tax rates imposed on alcohol, heated tobacco and electronic cigarettes ‒ inclusive of electronically heated tobacco and vape products. It also aims to impose stricter regulations on the sale of e-cigarettes and increase import tariffs on vape products. The bill is currently awaiting President Duterte’s signature. Under the new tax hikes, fermented liquors will be subject to a specific tax rate of P35 per litre in 2020 and increasing to P43 in 2024 with a 6% annual increase after that. Distilled spirits will receive a 22% ad valorem tax, with an additional specific tax rate of P42 in 2020 climbing to P66 in 2024 with a 6% indexation. Sparking and still, wines will incur a specific tax rate of P50 in 2020, with a 6% increase after that. Heated tobacco products will be subject to a specific tax rate of P25 in 2020, increasing to P32.50 in 2023 with a 5% increase annually after 2023. Nicotine salts will be subject to a specific tax rate of P37 per millilitre in 2020 climbing to P52 by 2023, with a 5% indexation after that. Freebase nicotine will receive a specific tax rate of P45 per millilitre, increasing to P60 in 2023, with a 5% increase after that.
  • Updates on Vietnamese Transport Infrastructure Projects
    Over the past several years, Vietnam has undertaken numerous ambitious infrastructure projects. While many of the projects have fallen behind their initial schedule, 2020 could be a year when a number of major projects are completed. Key projects include:
    • Cat Linh – Ha Dong metro line : Hanoi’s first metro line has completed construction. It currently consists of 13 km of elevated railway and 12 stations. Safety inspections are being carried out by a French consultancy before the metro comes online. Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has ordered the Ministry of Transport to ensure the line is operational in 2020.
    • Hanoi Ring Road: The Hanoi Ring Road is a 5.5 km road in the northwestern part of the city that is meant to ease traffic congestion in Cau Giay, a business hub. A six-lane ground-level section opened in October 2019, and the four-lane elevated section is scheduled to launch in September 2020.
    • Hai Van Tunnel 2: The tunnel will connect Da Nang City and central Thua Thien-Hue Province, and is expected to be done by the end of 2020. Part of the project is to upgrade the Hai Van Tunnel 1 and to expand its emergency exit into four lanes in Hai Van Tunnel 2.
    • La Son – Tuy Loan Expressway: The 77 km-expressway runs from Phu Loc District in Thua Thien-Hue Province to Toa Vang District in Da Nang City. Originally planned to be operational by December 2018, the expressway’s progress ran into delays due to land acquisition issues. The first 66 km of the expressway is set to open in the first quarter of 2020, according to government sources.
    • Long Thanh – Ben Luc Expressway: The expressway will connect Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with the southern provinces of Long An and Dong Nai. Originally scheduled to be completed by 2018, it is now expected to be done in 2020,. Currently, 80 percent of the expressway is completed. The aim is for it to improve connectivity across the Mekong Delta, and it eventually will link up with the planned Long Thanh International Airport in Dong Nai.
  • Brunei’s 2020 Summary Outlook
    From 2018 to present, there has been a contraction in the growth of Brunei’s GDP despite higher oil and gas prices. According to IMF, Brunei will experience a 1.8% growth in GDP over 2020. From 2018 to present, there has been a contraction in growth due to declines in Brunei’s various energy sectors (crude oil, natural gas, LNG) which account for two-thirds of the country’s GDP. According to ADB’s overview by ASEAN Regional Integration Center, Downstream production at the Hengyi refinery, construction of the Brunei Fertilizer Industries plant and Temburong Bridge are all factors which anticipate to bring stimulation, hence the projected 1.8% growth. Coupled with recovering prices, strong demand from the transportation industry and modern developments of oil and gas exploration and production activities drive Brunei oil and gas market growth and hence their economy as a whole.
  • Laos and the USAID launch new program to improve business environment
    On December 12, the Laos Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) unveiled the “Laos Business Environment Project.” Those who attended the unveiling included Laos’ Minister of Industry and Commerce, H.E. Khemmani Pholsena, U.S. Ambassador to Laos, the Hon. Rena Bitter, representatives of USAID and officials from related private sectors. The five-year project, funded by USAID, will provide capacity building and advisory services aimed at strengthening the competitiveness of Laos’ small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) while improving the implementation of trade-related laws, policies and regulations. SMEs make up the majority of firms in Laos and account for most of the country’s private sector employment. Consequently, the country’s economic development relies heavily upon support for Laos’ SMEs. In addition to SME support, the project’s other goals include improving the competitiveness of agricultural microenterprises, strengthening the rule of law, promoting health and nutrition, supporting people with disabilities and improving education. This is the third USAID project focusing on Laos, the first two being the Lao PDR-U.S. International and ASEAN Integration Project (LUNA-Lao) and its successor, USAID LUNA II.

Current Advocacy

  • Recommendations to Vietnam's Drafting Committee of Decree Providing Guidelines to Implement Animal Husbandry Law
    On November 19, 2018, Vietnam's National Assembly, together with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development passed the Law on Animal Husbandry. MARD is seeking public feedback on a draft circular overseeing the management of veterinary drugs containing medically important antibiotics. The Council has submitted a letter providing recommendations to MARD on December 18, 2019. The letter seeks clarification from MARD on the following issues:
    • Can feedmills designate a licensed veterinarian to prescribe and distribute medicated feed to distributors and farms directly and if so, how will this process be implemented?
    • How will smaller farmers have access to veterinary drugs that require a prescription for both treatment and prevention?

For more information please contact Sunita Kapoor (skapoor@usasean.org), or Thao Nguyen (tnguyen@usasean.org).

  • Draft Decree on Personal Data Protection (PDP)
    On December 27, 2019, the Government of Vietnam published an outline of the draft decree on "Personal Data Protection" (PDP Decree) on its government portal (Vietnamese only; accessible at this link). They are still seeking comments for the draft and no deadline has been set. The PDP draft is currently just an outline, with most of the articles as headings. While the document claims to be based on implementing the Law on National Security of 2004 and the Law on Cybersecurity of 2018, there is very little in these laws that govern data privacy, including principles. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) and the broader government is developing this decree from scratch, and they are open to comments and inputs from all stakeholders, especially from industry in more developed countries. While no deadline has been set for the comment period, there is an urgency to issue this decree. Without industry involvement, the Government may issue it as soon as later this year. If you have any questions, or for further details, please contact Vu Tu Thanh at tvu@usasean.org and Jamie Lim at jlim@usasean.org.
  • Draft Decree on Cross-Border E-Commerce in Customs Operations
    The General Department of Customs (GDC) is drafting a decree on cross-border e-commerce in customs operation (Draft Decree). This is an item specified in the Action Plan to Promote the National Single Window, ASEAN Single Window and Reform Specialized Customs Audit for Imports and Exports and to Facilitate Trade during 2018 – 2020, which was issued by Prime Minister Phuc in September 2018. On January 8, the Council and GDC organized a consultative workshop in Hanoi to discuss the decree. For more information, please contact Ms. Bui Kim Thuy at tbui@usasean.org.
  • Meeting with Philippine Senator Bong Go on MDRP Issue
    The Philippine Department of Health (DOH) has drafted an Executive Order (EO) that will expand the Maximum Drug Retail Price (MDRP) to cover 122 drugs. The DOH is pursuing MDRP under the Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act of 2008. As of January 13, the EO has been submitted to the Office of the President and is awaiting signature by President Duterte. The Council has requested a meeting with Senator Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Tesoro Go to provide U.S. private sector perspectives on the MDRP, and also explore potential collaborations in the area of Antimicrobial Resistance. For more information contact Sunita Kapoor (skapoor@usasean.org), or Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao (tnguyen@usasean.org).

Relationship Building

  • TELMIN-AEM roadshow (name change to AEM-ADGMIN)
    The USABC has moved dates for the inaugural AEM-TELMIN Digital Economy Roadshow to the United States to Q1 of 2020, which will also be now called the AEM-ADGMIN, short for the ASEAN Digital Ministers Meeting (ADGMIN), to signal a renewed commitment to accelerate the development digital technologies and digital transformation. The roadshow will visit one city on the West Coast, one city in the middle of the country, and Washington, DC. Contact: Riley Smith (rsmith@usasean.org) or Mario Masaya (mmasaya@usasean.org).
  • Roundtable with The Hon. Peter Haymond, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Laos
    On January 14, USABC hosted the Hon. Peter Haymond, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to Laos. The roundtable served as an excellent opportunity to raise with Ambassador-Designate Haymond the issues that U.S. companies face in Laos prior to his taking up his new post within the next several weeks. Ambassador-Designate Haymond's bio can be found here.
  • Roundtable with The Honorable Michael G. DeSombre, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand
    On January 24, the Council hosted a similar roundtable with the Hon. Michael G. DeSombre, U.S. Ambassador to Thailand prior to his taking up his new post. Amb. DeSombre was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next Ambassador to Thailand on January 8 and his bio can be found here.
  • 2020 ASEAN Tourism Ministers’ Meeting
    On January 13-16, USABC led its annual mission to the 23rd Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Brunei, supporting the theme of “ASEAN: Together towards a Next Generation of Travel.” During the mission, the Council pushed for innovation including sharing insights from the digital economy and offering best practices in human capability building as ASEAN aims to position itself as a single destination for tourism. This marks the Council’s 3rd annual delegation to the Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, since its inaugural mission to the 21st Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
 

Looking Ahead

Upcoming Events

 
 

Media Highlights

Procter & Gamble brought its Women Entrepreneurs Development Program to Singapore in 2019. The program gave its first batch of participants real-life working insights and a network of mentors and friends. P&G’s work in fostering women’s economic empowerment earned the company top level recognition from the U.S. Department of State, winning the 2019 Award for Corporate Excellence (ACE) in the multinational enterprise category. The success of the Women Entrepreneurs Development Program in Singapore has spurred P&G to continue a second installment of the program in 2020. This episode highlights how this American company continues be a force for growth and a force for good in the communities in which it operates.

 

Country and Industry Updates

See our most recent Updates and Analysis for more detail: