On October 28 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the region’s top CEOs gathered to launch the ASEAN Business Club (ABC), a private sector organization for businesses in ASEAN to cooperate and collaborate on common challenges facing business owners in Southeast Asia. The region’s top CEOs were in attendance, including Tan Sri Tony Fernandes of AirAsia, Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala from Ayala Corporation, and Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak of CIMB, along with many others. Former British Prime Minister, the Honorable Tony Blair, U.S. Ambassador to ASEAN David L. Carden, and ASEAN Secretary-General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan attended to represent government support for the Club’s founding.
The ABC, whose motto is “ASEAN: Open for Business,” is a private-sector driven initiative of ASEAN’s leading businesses. Businesses leaders in ASEAN recognize the need to unite in support of economic integration initiatives. ABC will support the efforts of governments in bringing down barriers between the region’s economies.
“The establishment of ASEAN Business Club is so significant. It is the most emphatic statement from business leaders in the region in support of ASEAN integration,” said Dr. Surin Pitsuwan during the launching ceremony.
The CIMB ASEAN Research Institute (CARI), an independent think tank dedicated to leadership and research in support of ASEAN integration, will provide academic and administrative support to the ASEAN Business Club.