At the recent World Economic Forum in Hanoi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong took to the podium and detailed an impressive list of achievements by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
ASEAN, he said, will become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2030 after the US, China and the EU.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
‘’We have a young and educated workforce,’’ he told the crowd of political, business, and economic leaders from around the world. ‘’Sixty percent of our population is under 35 years old. They are comfortable with new technology and the digital economy in ASEAN is projected to grow to reach $200 billion by 2025.’’
‘’ASEAN is committed to further economic integration,’’ he said. ‘’This is an important condition for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, because it is about building networks, creating new synergies, and staying connected. ASEAN member states have been working together towards the ASEAN Economic Blueprint 2025, so that ASEAN businesses can operate more seamlessly across the region. It is important to involve the businesses because the private sector, especially the small and medium enterprises, is the backbone of our economies and source of entrepreneurship.’’
Frans Kok, General Manager of AEB Asia Pacific, says that key among the many ASEAN initiatives is one between Vietnam and Singapore that has established seven industrial parks and created a business model that is acting as a driver in the burgeoning economy.
According to Prime Minister Lee, the parks are now bringing $11 billion in investment funding from more than 800 international companies. They have generated more than 200,000 jobs.
‘’These joint developments encourage companies to set up factories in this park with preferred conditions,’’ said Frans Kok. ‘’For the local economy it means a boost in employment, sharing knowledge and skills, services to be offered to these companies, supply chain business for local companies, and business for part and component suppliers.’’
Frans Kok said investing companies often get tax benefits, have the possibility of 100 percent foreign ownership (which is not always possible under normal circumstances), access to an experienced labor pool, and the potential to avoid tariffs in the fallout from the global trade war.
The challenges? Frans Kok says those include some need for infrastructure improvements, customs procedures can be more labor intensive and supply chain routes can be longer.
For companies doing business in a Vietnam-Singapore industrial park, AEB’s suite of customs and supply chain management software can make the difference between difficult to manage satellite operation and a smooth running, profitable extension of the company.
AEB Customs Management is the central platform for managing your customs processes. With end-to-end IT integration and smart automation, you accelerate your customs processes and save valuable resources.
AEB Export Management supports you with both customs management and export controls. The many features include integration of your customs brokers around the world, local direct filing, a powerful solution for classifying your product portfolio, sanctions list screening – even automated export license management.
AEB Supply Chain Collaboration works together with all your supply chain partners. The functionalities include continuous bi-directional status exchanges at every level – transport, order, consignment, or the individual item.
AEB Trade Compliance Management automatically runs restricted party screening for you in the background. The intelligent software, which can be used anywhere in the world, warns you before a business partner becomes a liability. Quickly and reliably, while the rest of your business continues uninterrupted.
‘’Managing a supply chain into a manufacturing plant from another country can be a challenge,’’ said Kok. ‘’ We can bring visibility into the operations and help manage customs processes in a way that save both time and money.’’
Prime Minister Lee said the investing companies are taking part in his vision for a fourth industrial revolution.
‘’The global economy is being fundamentally transformed by new and far reaching breakthroughs in technologies,’’ he said. ‘’Businesses are changing the way they operate, workers are using technology to become more productive, customers are changing how they make their purchases, and markets are growing bigger and becoming increasingly integrated.
‘’Here in ASEAN, member states are in a good position to take advantage of the new opportunities that this 4IR can bring.’’ Further reading