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We are proud that Venturenauts’ Managing Director Peter McKenna was an invited expert speaker at the inaugural ASEAN Economic Integration Forum at University of Oxford’s St. Antony’s College on 10 November 2015. This forum marked the launch of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 and was convened by the Asian Studies Centre at St Antony’s College, University of Oxford, the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and the World Trade Institute, University of Bern.

The main objectives of the ASEAN Economic Integration Forum 2015 were to discuss the economic governance challenges facing ASEAN Member States as they strive to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and explore forward looking proposals to enhance the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community 2025 objectives.

New research and thinking was provided by speakers and hotly discussed amongst the Forum’s international participants. Cutting-edge perspectives were shared on topics ranging from the political economy of ASEAN’s member states to explain progress with the AEC, to examining the disparity, gaps, and openness in building connectedness (eg., production chains) across members states that unlocks the potential of ASEAN. Co-Convenor of the Forum Associate Professor Dr Sufian Jusoh provided a very interesting and topical case study on integrating Myanmar into the AEC.

Venturenauts’ Peter McKenna was privileged to be invited as the sole business speaker at the Forum. Peter’s presentation outlined the opportunities and challenges for business with the AEC from both an ASEAN and Australian business perspective, likely winners and losers, and detailed necessary collaborations that business needs with government and academia across ASEAN to make the AEC an business and economic success.

Peter provided examples of collaborations that support SMEs which included raising awareness of ASEAN and the AEC across the community, developing international skills and knowledge in businesses and governments, training executives and officials in economic diplomacy, and addressing regulatory reform and harmonization at national and regional levels. This practical and strategic thinking resonated strongly with international participants.

Planning for the ASEAN Integration Forum 2016 (proposed to be held in Malaysia) is commencing. Early expresssions of interest from partners, sponsors and interested supporters are being sought. If interested in learning more, please contact us.