Economic Sector

Last updated: Friday, March 22, 2019


ASEAN's Next Generation

Posted: Thursday, November 08, 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution or the Industrial Revolution 4.0 has made the world flatter and faster and people are increasingly interconnected. This is an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to keep and make new successes for ASEAN.

Opportunity for young entrepreneurs
ASEAN has a population of about 625 million, ranked third in the world, just after China and India. Its gross domestic product (GDP) reached US$2.6 trillion, ranked seventh globally. The golden population ratio - an important factor that helps boost the economic growth of ASEAN countries since the 1990s - is changing. According to data from the United Nations, the average age in Southeast Asia was estimated to be 29 in 2017 because about half Indonesia’s population (261 million people) was aged under 29 and the average age of Filipinos was 24.5 years. Countries such as Thailand and Vietnam have rapidly ageing populations that reduce demographic advantages.

Two years ago, at regional economic forums, leaders discussed how to build the ASEAN identity. Now, overarching topics and priorities are digitisation and technology in ASEAN. Without question, ASEAN is in an unprecedented stage of technological development. This stage opens many opportunities and challenges in which youth and young entrepreneurs are most influenced in the present and in the future. According to Annie Koh, a professor at Singapore Management University, the ‘fate’ of ASEAN depends on young people and on the capture of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Mr Chu Ngoc Anh, Minister of Science and Technology, said, for ASEAN countries, approaching the strategic vision, defining opportunities and challenges in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is a fast and effective way to select national direction and solutions to create breakthroughs and narrow the development gap with other countries in the world. This is also an opportunity for young people to develop their intellectual and creative capacity to turn challenges into opportunities, transform ideas into products and reap success in the process of starting new innovative businesses.

Inspiring start-ups
Mr Santitarn Sathirathai, Chief Economist of SEA Group, Singapore, said, according to the survey, one in four ASEAN youths aspire to work for themselves and the rate is increasing. The attitude to new technologies, especially among young people, is very positive. This means that businesses can develop promising businesses such as e-commerce or financial technology.

Recently, during the World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN), ASEAN leaders held the “Open Forum: ASEAN 4.0 for All” to discuss how to start a business in ASEAN in a move to turn ASEAN into a centre of entrepreneurship.

For the Vietnamese government, enterprises, including fledging and start-up enterprises, are central to the economy, driving economic growth and sustainable development. So far, Vietnam has basically formed and developed a national innovative start-up ecosystem, initially attracting domestic and international resources for development. Together with ASEAN, Vietnam is striving to create opportunities for young entrepreneurs and realise the goal of becoming a start-up country.

Nguyen Hoang

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