May 17, 2023: Inspired by the Masterplan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, the first iteration of C asean Forum 2023 was discussed under the theme of “Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity: Strategy for Change” at C asean, Auditorium, CW Tower, Bangkok, along with the LIVE streaming. The event was joined not only by onsite delegates but also by virtual delegates across the world.
Mr. Thapana Sirivadhanabhakdi, Chairman of C asean, emphasized the importance of strengthening connectivity to wider opportunities for trade, investment, and socio-economic development across ASEAN and beyond. He also highlighted the greater public-private partnership and cooperation, which can help to efficiently mobilize resources and expertise worldwide.
Mr. Lim Chze Ceen, Director of the ASEAN Connectivity Division in the ASEAN Secretariat, virtually shared the overview of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 and its achievements. The MPAC projects and its activities have been crucial for the region’s resilience, recovery, and future growth.
His Excellency Mr. Hun Saroeun, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Royal Embassy of Cambodia to the Kingdom of Thailand, on the stage, delivered a resourceful presentation of Cambodia’s contribution to accelerating the ASEAN connectivity through the new and emerging infrastructures, such as Phnom Penh-Sihanouk Expressway, New Kam Pot Deep Seaport, New Dara Sakor Seaport, New Siem Reap International Airport, Phnom Penh International Airport, Koh Rong International Eco-Tourism Airport Project, and New Dara Sakor Airport. Cambodia’s big movement will certainly help to enhance Cambodia’s competitiveness and member states’ economic synergy.
His Excellency Mr. Pham Quang Vinh, President of Vietnam-USA Society, Former Vice Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Vietnam, and Former Head of SOM ASEAN Vietnam, shared his virtual message on the importance of a more comprehensively connected ASEAN from Vietnam’s standpoint as a strategic partner and the benefits of the commitment to seamless and institutional collaboration, not only among the member countries but also the cross-country dialogues through focal points.
Mr. Roongrote Rangsiyopash, President and CEO of SCG, shared SCG’s passion for contributing to regional integration and growth. He identified key drivers of regional sustainable growth by creating competitiveness with a seamless, sustainable, and resilience supply chain that led to the synchronization of the end-to-end system with digital technology and data-driven initiatives, and renewable energy and net zero emission starting from the physical of the goods to distribution and at the end to the customers. Mr. Roongrote also emphasized the key success factors that are based on the bedrock of the management of transportation, the supporting technologies, and digital innovation to create end-to-end digital synchronization from ordering to payment. In aiming for international expanding connection and seamless integration of the supply chain, he further underlined the emerging and important trends – the issues of sustainability and carbon neutrality as we might meet the unexpected events, uncertainties, and new challenges ahead to develop sustainable solutions and more connected ASEAN.
Mr. Tony Fernandes, Co-founder, and Group CEO of AirAsia, from Malaysia, shared his view virtually and passion for the potential improvement of connectivity throughout the ASEAN region and ways to revive the aviation business to support common standards and increase the overall market accessibility. He pointed out that to unite ASEAN as one, we should have one aviation authoriy so that airlines can operate in each country seamlessly. Furthermore, he encourages the free movement of labor to create resilient ASEAN labor forces and move the region forward, and lastly left his message; “It’s about time to change the title of SEA games to ASEAN games.”
For more than 8 years, C asean Forum has created closer connections for a stronger, brighter, and more resilient region, this first edition of CaF2023 not only highlighted the importance of MPAC 2025 in promoting connectivity and economic integration in the region but also reaffirmed C asean’s commitment to be a part of the regional development by facilitating the implementation of this framework effectively.
C asean Forum 2023 series is made possible by leading organizations, including The ASEAN Secretariat, Thai Beverage Public Company Limited, Siam Cement Group, and VietJet.