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As top leaders of ten Southeast Asian Nations convened the 14th edition of their annual summit in Hua Hin, Southern Thailand late February, a parallel event called Asean Business and Investment Summit was held in Bangkok.

Here again the global financial meltdown was in focus as Asean business leaders were asked to keep up their investments and help counter the economic slowdown.

Arin Jira, chairman of the Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean-BAC), suggested regional brands should start with tourism-related products and services, such as fashion and hotels, to create more businesses and attract more tourists to the region. The creation of Asean budget hotel brands which provide the same standard of service was the example he gave.

He pointed out the need to step up intra-Asean trade while markets elsewhere slow down, notably the United States, Europe and Japan, which are major trading partners of the region.

Intra-Asean trade is valued at $410 billion currently, which is a five-fold increase over 1993, accounting for 25 percent of the region's overall trade value.

Sundram Pushpanathan, deputy secretary-general of Asean for the Asean economic community, agreed with the Asean brand concept, saying it was in line with Asean’s Think Global, Act Asean initiatives.

He noted that foreign direct investment (FDI) flows to Asean totalled $63.3 billion in 2007, representing 3.5 percent of global FDI, with the 2008 figure expected to rise. The region will have to take…

ASEAN-BAC       The ASEAN BIS       ASEAN Business Awards (ABA)
It organises the annual Asean Business and Investment Summit (ASEAN-BIS). Held alongside the annual Asean Summits, the ASEAN-BIS represent the public and private sector partnership avenue to identify measures to facilitate and promote the Asean economic initiatives.
      The forum brings together private and public sector organisations, government representatives and captains of industry from within and outside Asean for dialogue and networking, and provides an interactive platform to advance industry and business in the region. 
      The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) organizes the annual ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) to recognise such outstanding and successful Asean companies contributing to the region’s economic growth and prosperity. ABA also aims to showcase promising Asean SMEs with the potential to be global players.


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