2-day SIBS 2023 solidifies Selangor’s regional position as the gateway to ASEAN and global investment destination

The 7th Selangor ASEAN Business Conference (SABC) 2023 kicked off today at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur. This year, SABC 2023 will run for 2 days instead of the 1-day conference of previous years. Held from 19 to 20 October, the regional thought leadership forum sees leading economic thinkers and captains of industry from around the world coming together to explore opportunities in ASEAN and how Selangor plays a pivotal role as the most competitive gateway to ASEAN markets.

The theme for SABC 2023 is “Selangor, Epicentre of ASEAN: Leveraging Diversity, Catalysing Opportunity, Creating Prosperity.” SABC 2023 is presenting 2 days of insightful panel sessions, featuring an impressive lineup of distinguished speakers who will share their deep knowledge of how companies can seek, identify and seize the opportunities available today.

The opening session was a Special Dialogue on “ASEAN Matters: Leveraging Diversity, Catalysing Opportunity, Creating Prosperity,” which featured distinguished speakers such as Tan Sri Nazir Razak, Chairman, ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Malaysia, Dr. Kunihiko Hirabayashi, Secretary General, ASEAN-Japan Centre and Prof. Suthiphand Chirathivat, Executive Director, Central Group, Thailand. The session will be moderated by Dr. Juita Mohamad, Director, Economics and Business Unit, IDEAS Malaysia.

The second day will feature 4 sessions. The first panel session of the day is themed “ASEAN Matters – Paving The Way Forward,” which will provide insights into ASEAN’s economic conditions. The session is moderated by Mr. Ravindra Ngo, Founder & CEO, The Asian Network, Singapore and the distinguished speakers are Dr. Yose Rizal Damuri, Executive Director, Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Indonesia, Dr. Kirida Bhaopichitr, Director, TDRI Econmic Intelligence Service (EIS), Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) and Dr. Anthony Dass, Economic Adviser, KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific, Malaysia.

The second panel session of the day will be on “Unleashing the Digital Potential of ASEAN: Opportunities for Investment,” covering the immense investment opportunities in ASEAN’s digital economy. The moderator will be Mr. Mohd Atasha Alias, Regional Director, Alphaus Inc & Adviser, eFounders Fellowship, Malaysia and the formidable lineup of speakers are Dato’ Henry Goh, Co-Founder and Group Chief Operating Officer, MACROKIOSK Malaysia, Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, Board Member, IRIS Corporation Berhad, Nano Malaysia & Autocount Dotcom Berhad Malaysia, Mr. Taufiq Iskandar, CEO, Penjana Kapital Malaysia, and Mr. Ganesh Kumar Bangah, Founder & Executive Chairman, Commerce.Asia Group Malaysia.

After the lunch break, Panel Session 3 will discuss “Overview of the Investment Landscape in ASEAN – Outlook and Challenges.” This session will provide comprehensive country-specific insights on key investment destinations in ASEAN. Dr. Ong Kian Ming, former Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry (MITI) Malaysia and Director – Philosophy Politics & Economics (PPE) Program, Taylor’s University will be moderating this session, and the distinguished speakers are Mr. Sivasuriyamoorthy Sundara Raja, Deputy Chief Executive Officer Investment Promotion and Facilitation, Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA), Malaysia, Mr. Yohanes Lukiman, Chairman of the Permament Committee for Asia Pacific, Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) and Head of CEO Office and Business Development, Blibli Tiket Group, Indonesia, and Mr. Alan Tan, Chief Economist, Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad, Malaysia.

The final Panel session of the day will discuss “Capitalising on Synergies: Maximising Malaysia – ASEAN Investment Potential” where the panelists will be speaking about the investment potential of key sectors and emerging opportunities within ASEAN. The moderator of the session will be Mr. Pradeeban Letsumanasingam, Director of The Tech Connectors Malaysia, and the speakers are YB Tuan Teo Kok Seong, Negeri Sembilan State Executive Councillor for Industry and Non-Muslim Affairs Malaysia, Dato’ Dr. Badrul Hisham bin Kassim, Chief Executive, Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Malaysia, Datuk Madiyem Layapan, Chief Executive Officer, Invest Sabah Berhad Malaysia, and Mrs. Haslina Binti Bahasan, SMP, Chief Executive Officer, Pahang State Secretary Incorporated Malaysia.

After all the insightful panel sessions, participants will adjourn to the Networking Reception and special dialogue session with the Guest of Honour, YB Tuan Rafizi Ramli, Minister of Economy, Malaysia. The session will be moderated by YBhg. Dato’ Hasan Azhari Hj Idris, Chief Executive Officer Invest Selangor Berhad, Malaysia.

YB Tuan Ng Sze Han, the new Selangor State Exco for Investment, Trade and Mobility said during the opening ceremony of SABC 2023, “Over the years, our conference has gained momentum, grown in magnitude, and expanded its horizon. We are united here today under one banner, to explore and underscore ASEAN’s increasingly significant role as a driving force for the global economy.”

“Selangor is not just a location; it is a destination for businesses, especially for those venturing into the ASEAN market. As the SABC theme suggests, Selangor is the epicentre of ASEAN. We are leveraging diversity, catalysing opportunities and creating prosperity. Our vision extends beyond Selangor. Investment Promotion Agencies from across Malaysia and even from ASEAN are participating in SIBS, showcasing our global outlook,” he continued.

“I believe there should be more trust, more collaboration, and more partnerships developed within ASEAN. Despite boasting trade and FDI figures of $3.8 trillion dollars and $224.2 billion dollars respectively, we in ASEAN are not trading with each other in the region. Our biggest trading and investment partners are outside of ASEAN. We need to do more. This is why Selangor is keen on hosting SABC. Beyond just building connections and linkages, we want to increase collaboration between each other within ASEAN. At SABC, we want to discuss strategies and ideas that can bring us closer and explore synergies.” said YAB Dato’ Seri Amirudin Bin Shari, Menteri Besar of Selangor during the opening ceremony of SABC 2023.

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