Asean - more than just a market

Singapore should approach the region with fresh eyes, exploring new forms of partnership and enabling the growth of South-east Asia as it emerges from the pandemic

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (left) at an Asean Leaders’ Meeting in Jakarta in April. Asean needs to be seen as not merely a location, market or platform, but a regional strategy in its own right, say the writers. PHOTO: MCI
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Calls to re-emphasise the importance of Asean have been made as Singapore looks to reopen its economy progressively and re-establish itself as a key regional hub. This would seem timely given positive sentiments about Singapore's recovery - the 2021 CEO Outlook Survey by KPMG found that 92 per cent of chief executive officers here were confident about growth prospects.

Yet these calls by the Government and some larger companies risk passing unheeded, for a few reasons.

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