AMCHAM, in partnership with BCCT, CanCham, European Association for Business and Commerce (EABC), FTCC, NTCC, STCC, hosted a dinner titled ASEAN, The New Growth Frontier – Centre of Demand, on July 25 at Anantara Siam Hotel Bangkok, with sponsorship from Tilleke & Gibbins. As ASEAN is poised to become the world’s 3rd largest free trade bloc, the dinner seeks to inform investors on regional insights and real-time market information from keynote speakers from both public and private sectors. From the public sector, Piyapak Sricharoen, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Economic Affairs, touched on Thailand’s improvement in many economic metrics, such as FDI inflow and ease of doing business. From the private sector, the dinner featured Joseph Incalcaterra, Chief ASEAN Economist at HSBC, who spoke about investment opportunities in ASEAN amid a globally synchronized economic downswing.
The keynote speeches were followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jantra Siriuthaikorn, Executive Director Bureau of Trade in Services and Investment, Department of Trade Negotiations, Ministry of Commerce, consisting of senior representatives from Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, and Myanmar. The panel delved into US-China Trade War, which resulted in an exodus of foreign companies from China pouring mostly into Vietnam. This resulted in a sharp increase in export from Vietnam to US, with the former entering the currency manipulation watchlist. The events point to a greater paradigm shift in geo-economics.