ABC calls for AEC business readiness

Asean business leaders expect strong cooperation from the public sector to speed up business readiness for the Asean Economic Community (AEC).

More than 300 entrepreneurs from across the region discussed trade and industry issues and implementation of the AEC at the Asean Business Club (ABC) Forum in Singapore early this week.

Tony Fernandes, AirAsia’s chairman and chief executive, said strong collaboration between the public and private sectors and a beefed-up Asean Secretariat would help to expedite Asean’s progress.

“We need to help lawmakers facilitate businesses and not impede their growth,” he said.

Munir Majid, chairman of the CIMB Asean Research Institute, which hosted the ABC Forum, said specialist industry groups should be formed to push forward greater regional integration.

“Governments have to get serious about private sector participation in building the AEC,” he said.

“A well-structured, professional and
specialised private sector providing input on a consistent basis is absolutely necessary.”