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ASEAN For Business - Deciphering the ASEAN Blue Economy Framework

ASEAN waters wield a colossal amount of natural resources and provide livelihood for an estimated of 625 million people in ASEAN. With more than 66 percent of Southeast Asia’s total area covered by ocean and sea, the region is the centre of marine biodiversity globally and home to 15 percent of the world’s fisheries. Additionally, ASEAN waters are estimated to generate between USD 3 and 6 trillion and about 260 million jobs per year. ASEAN is also home to 33 percent of seagrass beds, 34 percent of coral reef cover, and 35 percent of mangrove acreage. Beyond its economic benefit, this coastal and marine ecosystem such as mangrove forests, seagrass meadows, and salt marshes also serve as highly efficient carbon sinks and provide a terrestrial and marine species which will also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and supporting climate adaptation by acting as natural barriers against sea-level rise and tropical cyclones.

Recognising the paramount role of ASEAN waters to the region’s economy and environment, ASEAN Leaders adopted the Declaration on the Blue Economy at the 40th ASEAN Summit held on 26 October 2021 and endorsed the ASEAN Blue Economy Framework at the 43rd ASEAN Summit in September 2023. The framework advances the ASEAN ambition to develop an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable blue economy, to make the blue economy as the new engine to ASEAN’s economic growth and prosperity.

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ASEAN for Business Bulletin_December 2023
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