International conference to focus on business potential of Asean’s 600mil population

GEORGE TOWN: The Asean region is projected to be the world’s sixth biggest economy by 2020, with a total gross domestic product of US$4 trillion.

About 125 million households are projected to have an average per capita income of over US$7,500 in 10 years.

The figures were given by businessman N Vasantharajan, Penang chapter president of the Malaysian Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In a press statement to announce a regional business conference in Penang next week, he said some 90 million people are also expected to move and live in South-East Asian cities by 2030.

Ten years from now, 40% of Asean’s GDP growth would come from an estimated 142 cities, each of which would have a population of between 200,000 and five million.

“Asean faces exciting and challenging times ahead, he said. “The future lies in the 617 million Asean population.”
Next week’s conference on Asean integration will be held at the Light Hotel in Seberang Jaya on June 14, with some 600 participants from local and international business chambers are expected to attend.

The aim of the conference is to prepare participants to explore business sectors in Asean, disseminate knowledge about Asean integration and provide feedback on Malaysia’s chairmanship of Asean.

The conference will explore business opportunities based on the Asean Economic Community and the Asean Socio-Cultural Community.

The conference would mainly focus on wood, rubber and agro based products, automotive, electronics, fisheries, textiles, healthcare, tourism, air travel, information technology (IT), logistics, education, art, literature, craft, music, film, theatre, sport and environment sectors.

The conference is scheduled to be opened by former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

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