The member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are rapidly becoming a critical and influential bloc in global economics and trade and the opportunities for ASEAN and Western Australia to collaborate for mutual benefit are significant. Dato’ Praba Thiagarajah, Group Chief Executive Officer of Basis Bay believes that one of the most crucial areas where the region can forge meaningful partnerships around Asia is in the IT solutions driving the region’s burgeoning growth in e-commerce, telecommunications and manufacturing.
“The digital revolution enabled through widespread connectivity, cloud adoption and digital mobility has re-shaped communities and introduced a new set of digital norms and guidelines across ASEAN member countries. These changes are transforming industries, enriching lives, and enabling progress,” said Dato’ Praba. “Trade dialogue with countries outside of the region allows these groups to compare notes, showcase capabilities and engage in deeper collaboration, which is vital to forging business relationships and investment.”
Dato’ Praba shared his perspective on the value of IT services to business partnerships and investment during a two-day Western Australia-ASEAN Trade and Investment Dialogue in November 2018. Hosted by the Perth USAsia Centre and the Government of Western Australia, the dialogue aimed to bring together the country’s public and private sectors with influential Southeast Asian business leaders to encourage partnerships, exchange and collaboration.
With a special focus on the key growth economies of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, the discussions during this inaugural gathering explored how Western Australia and the ASEAN can continue building a lasting economic partnership, through opportunities in mining, agriculture and information technology. ASEAN represents a growing and potentially profitable market for Western Australia. With a rapidly developing middle-class and increasingly urbanised population, ASEAN is ideally positioned for engagement with Western Australia, leading to mutual economic and job-creating opportunities. This interaction between government and business leaders is meant to repair the disconnect between how Western Australia and ASEAN view each other as potential partners, reflecting historical understanding of their economic structures and regional outlook.
Key insights and takeaways from the Dialogue were published in a report titled, “ASEAN and Western Australia’s Economic Future” in April 2019.