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8th Lecture - Business in Southeast Asia with Cesar Purisima

Date: Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Time: 08.00 - 10.00 GMT+7

Platform: Zoom Meetings & Youtube Livestream

Speaker: Cesar Purisima, Secretary of Finance of the Republic of the Philippines (2010-2016)

Moderator: Dr Pinitbhand Paribatra, Associate Dean, Faculty of Political Science, Thammasat University

E – look East

ASEAN is in the east. In fact, ASEAN has been the driving force of Asian Economic growth together with China in the past fifty years. There are three obvious reasons why to look east: 1) the leapfrogging population, 2) habit of bringing western technology and making the best use of this in the east, 3) benefits from the geopolitical issues between the US-China trade. On the other hand, RCEP also opens a new opportunity as it is also focusing on e-commerce.

D – drive Digital transformation

ASEAN added 40 million new internet users in 2021, meaning 75% of Southeast Asia now are online. Before the pandemic, there were only 290 million customers. So, e-commerce is really enjoying robust growth in the region in practically all segments. Not only that, digital financial systems like banks are going strong into digital commerce. Those all are caused by the digital transformation that occurs. Hence, the development of digital transformation is a big opportunity for the post-pandemic world.

G – go Green

As ASEAN is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change, we must work together to become an agent for change in terms of minimizing the effects of climate change. We must also look at climate change as a business opportunity to drive economic growth for post-pandemic and keep the increase of temperature to 1.5 degrees is upwards of 23 trillion dollars. Hence, the government alone cannot do that. That is why we must look at climate change, the climate change risk as an opportunity, as a potential driver for growth.

E – be Entrepreneurial

For all of the aforementioned opportunities to become a reality, we need to change our mindset to a more entrepreneurial mindset not only for private sectors or students, but also the government. We need a more entrepreneurial government to have more entrepreneurial politics and policies. We need to open up this sector so that we can get the benefit not just of foreign capital, foreign technology, and foreign skills. It will go to our country, it will benefit us.


SEA Lecture Hall - 8th Lecture Full Report
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