US-ASEAN Business Council Launches 'Edges of Southeast Asia' in Collaboration with Deloitte and Singapore EDB

(Singapore) The US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), in collaboration with Deloitte, and the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB) launched Edges of Southeast Asia at a panel session held at the Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology (“SWITCH”) Global Channel 2020 on December 7.

Edges of Southeast Asia features a 25-card info pack, each illustrating an emerging trend that draws upon a real case example in the region. Drawing influence from a diverse range of social, technological, economic, and political megatrends to better understand the complex dynamics shaping the business world, Edges of Southeast Asia features high growth potential opportunities within the ASEAN region.

The panel session at SWITCH titled “Edges of Southeast Asia – Hidden in Plain Sight” featured Ambassador Michael Michalak, USABC Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director, Cindy Hook, Deloitte Asia Pacific CEO, and Ching Kai Fong, Managing Director of the Singapore EDB. The speakers presented their perspectives on emerging trends in Southeast Asia, highlighting the implications of a high-tech driven economy.

“ASEAN has been cited as home to great examples of technology adoption and innovation”, said Amb. Michael Michalak of USABC. “This reflects the strong digital economy ecosystem in the region, which has grown from US$32 billion in 2015 to US$100 billion in 2019. The Edges of Southeast Asia series offers a window into the diverse potential of ASEAN markets in utilizing innovation to not just bounce back, but to maximize their economic potential and bounce forward in the new normal,” he added.

“As you explore the Edges of Southeast Asia, you will realize that they go well beyond the opportunities of digitalization to reveal untold stories of economic inclusion, urban renewal, sustainability, a rising middle-class and an evolving identity and aesthetic”, said Mr Duleesha Kulasooriya, Head of the Deloitte Center for the Edge in Asia Pacific. “Southeast Asia is home to a new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs and changemakers who have demonstrated their grit, passion and conviction to break through a myriad of linguistic, cultural and geographical complexities to showcase the untapped potential of the region.”

Ms. Cindy Hook, CEO of Deloitte Asia Pacific asserted that having innovation and the ability to follow and scale quickly is a competitive advantage for businesses in Southeast Asia. “Looking at the edges through the lens of these emerging trends, we hope to inspire start-ups and organizations to reimagine business and growth opportunities, and explore new opportunities that will propel growth and materialize their innovations in this fascinating region”, she said.

Southeast Asia is set to be one of the fastest-growing regions in the world. Collectively, ASEAN has the 3rd largest population in the world, and the 5th largest GDP. With almost 60 percent of ASEAN’s population under 35 years of age, ASEAN’s middle class is set to double to 334 million by 2030. The region is also the world’s fastest-growing internet market with a digital economy to exceed US$240 billion by 2025. The US-ASEAN Business Council, along with Deloitte and the Singapore EDB, is committed to supporting businesses, governments and the people of ASEAN on this growth journey.

########################################################################################

For over 35 years, the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the premier advocacy organization for US corporations operating within the dynamic Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Worldwide, the Council's membership, more than 160 companies, generate over $6 trillion in revenue and employ more than 13 million people globally. Members include the largest US companies conducting business in ASEAN, and range from newcomers to the region to companies that have been working in Southeast Asia for over 100 years. The Council has offices in: Washington, DC; New York, NY; Bangkok, Thailand; Hanoi, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Manila, Philippines; and Singapore.