Geographies in Depth

Highlights from our #ASEAN16 meeting in Malaysia

Image: World Economic Forum / Sikarin Fon Thanachaiary

Jenny Soffel
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From putting an end to human trafficking and achieving gender parity, to business lessons from an airline boss and a one-on-one with a martial arts legend, here are some highlights from the World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2016 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Opening plenary

The Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Cambodia and Timor-Leste all took part in our opening plenary, along with the Vice-President of Indonesia and Deputy Prime Minister of Vietnam.

The focus was on economic growth and social inclusion, and you can re-watch the session in the player below.


A competitive ASEAN region

How do the 10 ASEAN nations compare in our annual Global Competitiveness Report 2015-2016? Watch this short video to find out.


Can businesses do more to tackle human trafficking?

Secretary General of Amnesty International, Salil Shetty, who was also one of our meeting co-chairs, believes businesses need to act now to improve the state of human rights in South-East Asia. We interviewed Shetty for a Facebook Live where he also answered some of your questions.

You can also read his contribution to our ASEAN blog series:


"I chose to do my own stunts to demonstrate that women could do it."

One of the exciting sessions at #ASEAN16 in Kuala Lumpur was a one-on-one interview with a former bond girl: Malaysian actress Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh spoke about her acclaimed performances playing strong women and what lessons her career provides for developing a creative economy in South-East Asia.

Watch the full session in the player below. And here's a short write-up of the interview.


ASEAN's growth outlook

A hot topic on day one was inclusive growth and how to create opportunities for the region's next generation of workers. "One of the skill-sets that are needed for today’s labour force is EQ - emotional quotient. It’s never there before, it’s now there. It’s really the ability for you to be persistent and not give up when you have all these rapid changes happening around you,” said Mari Elka Pangestu, Professor of International Economics, University of Indonesia, during the session ASEAN and the Big Picture.

Image: World Economic Forum

Looking up - AirAsia's Tony Fernandes on aviation and entreprenership

Fifteen years ago he bought AirAsia for 25 cents. Today, it's one of the region's biggest airlines. Here he is taking your questions during a Facebook Live conversation with us.


We also published a report on the new regulatory model for foreign investment in airlines, which you can read here.

Booming ASEAN

Did you know that if ASEAN were a single country, it would be the seventh largest economy in the world? For more surprising things you - probably - didn't know about ASEAN, watch this short video.


The future of jobs

A new report published during day one of the meeting takes a closer look at the future of skills and employment in the ASEAN region. How can the region’s talent be best positioned for growth?

We asked for your thoughts on the impact of automation. Here are the results:


Meanwhile, meeting co-chair Kathleen Chew, Group Legal Counsel, YTL Corporation Berhad, says education in South-East Asia needs an overhaul. Read here full blog on the topic here:


Closing ASEAN's gender gap

Growing economies like those in the ASEAN region can realize their full potential - if they create more employment opportunities for women. CEO of Plan International, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, writes: "Across Asia, greater female participation has gone hand in hand with economic transformation." Read her full blog here, and watch the Facebook Live we did with Albrectsen below.


Meeting live blog

For a full recap of the meeting, head over to our live blog.

And finally, for more blogs, take a look at our special ASEAN series, here.

The World Economic Forum on ASEAN took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 1 to 2 June.

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