On September 18, 0202

Regional corporate chiefs gathered at the second Asean Business Club (ABC) Gala Dinner in Jakarta in support of Asean Integration

Regional corporate chiefs gathered at the second Asean Business Club (ABC) Gala Dinner in Jakarta in support of Asean Integration The Asean Business Club (ABC) held its second signature annual Gala dinner last night in Jakarta on 18 September 2012. Hosted by Indonesia Co-Chairs of ABC, Chairul Tanjung, Chairman of CT Corp and Patrick Walujo, Managing Director of Northstar Group, it brought together chief executives from the region in support of Asean integration.

In his welcome remarks, the co-chair of ABC Indonesia, Chairul Tanjung told the 350 members and guests of ABC that the business community must play a role in assisting the progress towards Asean integration, by first integrating its people. He quoted an Indonesia saying “if I don’t know you, I cannot love you” to strengthen his point.

Chairul Tanjung reminded companies operating in Asean to harness Southeast Asia’s rich human resources. He said the region could no longer depend on traditional markets and changes in the world provided the right impetus for a renewed Asean. Asean’s private sector, he added, not only had the financial resources to grow its business, it also had the ability to improve the livelihood of its people. The highlight of the evening was the ABC dialogue with the founding partner of TPG Capital, David Bonderman.

Many companies, Bonderman said, had already taken advantage of Asean’s common market. According to him, lessons from Europe were a cautionary tale. If Asean wanted to compete with Europe in ten or twenty years, monetary and political union needed to be considered, he explained. “My advice to Asean is to improve on the government’s ability to create predictable rules, improve education.” The importance of a competent, transparent, and reliable government cannot be overlooked, he stressed.

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