Thursday, April 15, 2021


In the landscape of a capricious world economy, Southeast Asia remains an emerging market with tremendous untapped potential. Home to over 640 million people, the ten member states of ASEAN together form an economic powerhouse. ASEAN is currently the sixth-largest economy in the world with a combined GDP of $2.8 trillion. It is projected to grow to be world’s fourth-largest economy by 2050.

Southeast Asia’s growth potential lies in having one of the youngest populations in the world with close to 60% being under 35, and a fast-moving digital economy with the world’s third-largest mobile subscribers behind only China and India. The outlook for ASEAN is bright as its Member States are poised to reap significant benefits from one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

In line with AEC’s vision, FutureASEAN is a bold initiative to be the leading platform for leaders and influencers in government, business, academia and civil society to shape the regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Southeast Asia. It aims to establish a platform to develop a deeper understanding of ASEAN in areas of public policy, economics and business. It seeks to find solutions that spark the transformation of national economies towards higher growth, stronger regional cohesiveness and upward social mobility.

Through our integrated concept of high-level keynote speeches, interactive panel discussions, digital collaboration and networking opportunities, this will undoubtedly provide invaluable insights into the prospects and challenges involved in this mega-regional development of Southeast Asia – welcoming speakers and attendees of the highest calibre. It will also serve as an avenue for established and emerging companies to explore partnerships and collaborative opportunities within the region.

FutureASEAN promises to be an engaging and stimulating platform for our partners, stakeholders and delegates to formulate strategies and implement real change, uniquely in the spirit of ASEAN.


Raising ASEAN Awareness

To increase awareness of ASEAN’s massive economic growth potential at the local, national, regional and global levels. We intend to bring forward academics, political leaders, non-profit heads, business experts and community leaders to give a holistic view of ASEAN, its opportunities and how to act upon it. We also aim to engage the youth through innovative platforms in promoting social dialogues, and people-to-people exchanges – to share the collective dreams and aspirations of ASEAN.

Innovating and Cultivating Regional Solutions

To be the leading regional institution in formulating innovative policies and solutions to challenges faced by governments, businesses and societies in ASEAN. Through the gathering of the best and brightest minds that Southeast Asia has to offer, we aim to provide the knowledge and resources to further elevate ASEAN’s role as a global economic powerhouse.

Bridging the Socio-Economic Gap in Southeast Asia

We recognise the importance of empowering communities to drive positive socioeconomic change. Hence, AEF brings together all relevant stakeholders in Southeast Asia to build a cohesive and integrated community across the region. We provide the necessary tools needed to formulate policies while getting citizens to work together towards a common goal in ASEAN.

Advocating and Representing for Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is our family, our community, and our home. AEF forms a collective voice for advocating impactful policies and solutions that create a conducive environment that benefits the people of ASEAN. AEF aims to be the advocacy platform in representing the voice of ASEAN people and ultimately, becoming a strategic channel of influence to the people and institution shaping the future of Southeast Asia.

Creating and Nurturing ASEAN’s Social Capital Network

Creating and nurturing a strategic regional network of leaders and experts is crucial towards capacity building and socio-economic development in Southeast Asia. We aim to bring together leaders to collectively contribute in transforming ASEAN into a global hub for innovation, investments and opportunities.



Despite its shortcomings, ASEAN’s ability to maintain peace and stability has been vital towards recording higher growth and attracting investments in Southeast Asia. In order to fuel further development, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was launched to create an integrated economic community, with the aim to create a single market, equitable economic development and a highly competitive region.

Multiple blueprints have since been laid out to build a resilient and inclusive ASEAN. However, there are still major hurdles to overcome including forging a common identity, promoting inclusive economic growth, ensuring sustainable development, implementing technological advancement and creating a conducive entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The digital transformation can spur innovation and economic growth across many activities. It can help in changing the development paradigm towards growth driven less on the demand side by exports and more on the supply side by productivity increases, enabling countries to move up the global value-chain. While the uptake of digital technologies has grown rapidly in Southeast Asia, with some of the world’s fastest rates of Internet penetration and mobile cellular subscriptions, the potential that such technologies have on accelerating development remains untapped.

ASEAN has the potential to become a global hub for digital economy, but are the current policies well-adapted to today’s digital era? Making the digital transformation work will require inclusive, coherent and well-coordinated policies that proactively consider those who will benefit and those who risk being left behind.

FutureASEAN presents Road to Integration: Unlocking ASEAN’s Digital Economy– where we focus on the obstacles, prospects and trends presented by the dynamism and diversity of Southeast Asia and devise ideas and solutions that can help ASEAN achieve its growth potential in this challenging time.