Thailand hosts this year's ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS 2019)

Photo Credit: PASB/ASEAN BAC 2019
Categories: Current Affairs
November 18, 2019

In conjunction with their ASEAN Summit and Related Summits, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) hosted their two-day ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS 2019) earlier this month at the IMPACT Exhibition Center, Muang Thong Thani in Thailand. 

Taking place on the 2nd and 3rd November, 2019, the annual ASEAN premier business and investment event was jointly organised in partnership with Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Commerce, as well as the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking (JSCCIB); which comprises of the Board of Trade Thailand, The Federation of Thai Industries and the Thai Banker’s Association. 

This year’s summit, which held the theme “Empowering ASEAN 4.0”, was mainly focused on digital infrastructure, digital connectivity, ASEAN Human Empowerment and Development and Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME).The event served as a platform for ASEAN governments and private sectors to showcase business opportunities, as well as to generate greater awareness on the impact of the 4th Industrial Revolution in various dimensions of digital infrastructure, digital connectivity, digital workforce, and digital MSMEs.

At the start of the event, several keynote addresses were delivered by Heads of State and Government from countries such as Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Russia and VietNam; following the officiation of the Opening Ceremony done by the Prime Minister of Thailand, General Prayut Chan-o-cha. Also attending the ceremony to deliver his keynote address was the Duke of York, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, who in his remarks, highlighted the urgency for ASEAN leaders to create an entrepreneurial environment to ensure that future generations are better prepared for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Panel Discussions were also conducted, at the event, by business leaders and experts on key topics including (i) Advancing ASEAN 4.0 in the Global Value Chain, (ii) Sustainable ASEAN 4.0: Circular Economy, (iii) Next Generation MSME Access to Finance, (iv) ASEAN Digital Transformation and Connectivity, (v) ASEAN Human Empowerment and Development, and (vi) ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network for MSMEs.

Other activities at the ABIS 2019 consisted of business exhibitions, business-matching, business dialogues, networking sessions and meetings. 

Among the 1,000 participants worldwide who were present at the summit was Thailand’s former Deputy Prime Minister and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Surakiart Sathirathai; AirAsia’s CEO, Tony Fernandes; 13-year-old young coding ambassador, Femi Owolad-Coombes; Global CEOs and business leaders worldwide. Also in attendance were Brunei’s Legislative Council members: Yang Berhormat Dayang Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii — who participated in one of the event's Panel Discussion entitled "ASEAN Membership for Entrepreneurs Network for MSMEs"; and Yang Berhormat FDr. Ar. Dayang Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman

who is also the President of the country’s national institution for Quantity Surveyors, Engineers and Architects: Pertubuhan Ukur, Jurutera dan Arkitek (PUJA).

The entire event was seen as another step towards prioritising and promoting digitalisation in ASEAN countries, as well as maintaining an ASEAN community that is prosperous and sustainably growing. 

Organised back-to-back with the ASEAN Summit, the ABIS is an event held annually as a medium for interaction between business communities within ASEAN and beyond, in fostering the development of a competitive ASEAN business region.

The 2019 summit was a successful initiative to open up discussions between the private sector and the government to further facilitate ASEAN’s deepened economic integration through trade and investment opportunities. It is hoped that the discussions and solutions made during the event will further reinforce the business-to-business connectivity within ASEAN, as well as between ASEAN and the rest of the world.


Brunei's Legislative Council Member, Yang Berhormat Dayang Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii  (3rd Right) in a group photo with other members of the Panel Discussion on "ASEAN Membership for Enterpreneurs Network for MSMEs"


Brunei representatives, Yang Berhormat Dayang Nik Hafimi binti Abdul Haadii (Left) and Yang Berhormat FDr. Ar. Dayang Siti Rozaimeriyanty binti Dato Seri Laila Jasa Haji Abdul Rahman  (PUJA President) (Right) at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2019