“The Future of ASEAN” Anwar Ibrahim Presses Cooperation, not Competition

On February 10, 2023 at Grand Ballroom, Royal orchid Sheraton Bangkok, Prime Minister
of Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim, attends the Business Meeting with theCaptains of Industry and delivers a keynote speech on “The Future of ASEAN”.

Hundreds of Thai and Malaysian business leaders are joining this event hosted by the Malaysian-Thai Chamber of Commerce (MTCC).

Anwar Ibrahim meets General Prawit Wongsuwon, Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand


The forum was honoured by Dr Thanong Biyada, former Minister of Finance, to deliver
opening remarks and to share his insight about business opportunities for cooperation between Malaysia and Thailand.


Dr Thanong Biyada said, “Thailand and Malaysia have a very long great relationship and passed through many economic crises in ASEAN together. Various agreements to form partnerships in ASEAN projects have been triggered, but many projects were not finished since most countries were still in the early stages of industrial development. At present, ASEAN has developed into a successful free trade area and could foster investment and business partnerships.

Therefore, it is about time to rethink a new strategy to boost the regional economy together. The visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia to Thailand this time will
mark a great possible rejuvenation of political, economic and social ties between two


Mr Yeap Swee Chuan, Honorary Chairman of MTCC and Chairman of AAPICO Hitech
Plc., delivered welcoming remarks to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and said that“ The MTCC was established at the initiative 20 years ago and now recognised a sone of the most active Malaysian chambers with 198 members at present. The MTCC hopes that the visit of the Prime Minister of Malaysia this time will catalyse investment between Malaysia and Thailand.

This forum is honored by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Yang Berhormat Dato Seri
Anwar Ibrahim, to share his vision to prosper ASEAN to grow steadily and vigorously in the future.

His Excellency said that “After becoming Malaysian PM, I gave the highest priority to ASEAN. I would add that Malaysia and Thailand collectively have a high potential for economic and social development, which we can explore and implement for the better of the people.

Therefore, we should explore how to set up the “Thailand-Malaysia Special Economic Corridor” (TM-SEC) covering the provinces in southern Thailand and the northern states in Malaysia. This is to unleash the economic and business potential of the region and give the opportunity to link to Asia and the middle east.

It would help strengthen the IMT-GT (Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle) by focusing on the weakest spot in the Growth Triangle area.”

His excellency also mentioned, “Peace and prosperity for the people should be the
most desirable outcome of the government.” The leaders and top policymakers are aware of the potential of ASEAN.


Had we worked together, we surely can drive ASEAN together to a new height. There are many policies that ASEAN leaders should pay attention to;

(1) promoting intra ASEAN trade and investment,

(2) creating a new environment of education, research and development in ASEAN for the new ASEAN generation,


(3) exercising leadership and reinforcing the ASEAN financial cooperation as a shield for our members.”

Lastly, His excellency highlighted that “I would say that we should revitalise the ASEAN
spirit. It can be done by setting our mind into the mode of “Cooperation, and not
Competition”. Our leaders should lead the way for the new generation to have the will and
ways to conform with the young minds in other ASEAN nations.”

The forum was also honoured by Dr Kanit Sangsubhan, Chairman of the Eastern
Economic Corridor (EEC) Advisory Board, to moderate a fruitful and insightful discussion in the Q&A session.