Manufacturing has been a critical part of the development story in ASEAN. It has helped countries earn valuable foreign currency, drive investment into building infrastructure, create jobs as demand shifts away from agriculture, and nurture an eco-system of local SME suppliers that supports the big foreign manufacturers. ASEAN’s large consumer base has seen a rapid increase in the level of discretionary spending and this positions the region as a vibrant market for the production and sale of goods. However, the traditional manufacturing and export-led development model is now facing unprecedented challenges wrought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Despite varying levels of industrial development in the region, all countries in ASEAN face a long road to reach the productivity frontier.
The Future of Production in ASEAN project provides a platform for regional stakeholders to explore opportunities and challenges and serves as a catalyst to facilitate cooperation in the region. In particular, the project is:
• Bringing regional leaders together and drive public-private collaborative efforts to upgrade production systems, building on the advantages of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies
• Employing the findings from the Readiness for the Future of Production Report 2018 to better understand regional strengths and weaknesses, and opportunities for regional collaboration
• Analysing the main trends affecting production in the region, assessing country competitiveness in manufacturing, and identifying the specific levers that will improve ASEAN’s readiness for the Future of Production
• Highlighting and facilitating efforts for pan-ASEAN policies, drawing from global best practices in the areas of technology and innovation, skills development and sustainability
• Defining priorities for ASEAN and respective member countries, and disseminating information from the System Initiative on Shaping the Future of Production for the region to be at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution