Report ahead of the opening of the World Business Forum ASEAN

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Southeast Asia offers tremendous investment potential as economies in the region remain resilient and competitive in the face of Covid-related challenges, while the outlook for the region’s economic recovery looks bright, a new Dubai Chamber study entitled “Why ASEAN” has revealed.

The study was released ahead of the Global Business Forum ASEAN (GBF ASEAN), which is organised by Dubai Chamber in partnership with Expo 2020 Dubai under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The inaugural forum, held under the theme The New Frontiers, takes place December 8-9, 2021 at Expo 2020 Dubai.

A rising economic power
The findings, based on data from the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), indicates that ASEAN countries have strong economies that have succeeded in overcoming the repercussions of Covid-19, with a GDP of $3.1 trillion in 2020. This represents 9.13% of the GDP of the Asian continent. Economic indicators suggest an expected increase of 4.64% by 2025, which highlights the potential of the ASEAN economies and their ability to play a pivotal role in the global economic map.

High-potential business opportunities
Despite the fallout from COVID-19 that has casted a shadow on the global economy, ASEAN countries attracted $2.9 trillion of total FDI inflows in 2020, a growth of 8.4% compared to 2019, which constitutes 7% of the total volume of foreign investment inflows in the world, and 34% in Asia. In addition, ASEAN countries achieved the highest growth rate in the Asia in the volume of foreign investment inflows, with a total annual growth of 9.8%.

The remarkable rise in the growth rates of total FDI flows is led by a focus on investing in promising economic sectors such as digital economy, e-commerce, advanced fifth-generation communication networks, and cloud computing that offer high growth opportunities. The study expects that, over the next five years, ASEAN countries will become one of the most prominent and rapidly growing global centers for data storage and management, overtaking North America and Asia Pacific countries.

H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber said the study supports Dubai Chamber’s efforts to provide market intelligence that member companies and UAE businesses can benefit from as they examine trade and investment opportunities emerging across the ASEAN region. The study, he explained, provides detailed information help traders, investors and key decision makers to make informed decisions, adding that such efforts can facilitate trade and investment flows between the UAE and ASEAN markets.

In addition, H.E. Buamim said the findings would be a key focus of discussions between government and business leaders at the upcoming GBF ASEAN, which Dubai Chamber established as an ideal platform to explore new avenues of UAE-ASEAN economic cooperation.

GBF ASEAN is part of Dubai Chamber’s flagship Global Business Forum series, which brings together traders and investors with economic decision makers to identify promising economic growth opportunities and explore investment opportunities between the UAE and the fastest growing markets in the world based on accurate economic studies. The ASEAN region includes ten countries: Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, in addition to Brunei.

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