ASEAN continues to be a competitive economic region with a conducive business environment offering enormous opportunities for growth and development. After having experienced growth rate of 5.7% in 2022, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that the ASEAN economy will grow by 4.6% in 2023 and 4.8% in 2024. The latest ADB Asian Development Outlook released in September 2023 highlights robust domestic demand and consistent recovery in the services sector, especially tourism, in providing significant contribution to ASEAN’s economic growth. Nonetheless, the slowing of global growth, which led to decrease in demand for the region’s manufacturing and commodity exports, combined with high commodity prices, and the tightening of global financial conditions have posed significant challenges across the region, causing the weakening of economic performance in several ASEAN Member States (AMS).
Recognising the increasing challenges facing the region’s economy, ASEAN Leaders adopted the Declaration on ASEAN as an Epicentrum of Growth at the recent 43rd ASEAN Summit held in Jakarta on 5 September 2023. The Declaration includes ASEAN Leaders’ commitment to strengthen the region’s position as the epicentrum of growth by navigating and responding to global challenges and unleashing the region’s full growth potentials amidst global megatrends by: (1) strengthening ASEAN resilience against future shocks; (2) leveraging new growth drivers; and (3) embracing a forward-looking and future-proofed ASEAN agenda.
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