Jakarta (ANTARA) - Investment and trade, as the lifeblood of ASEAN countries' economies, should be managed jointly to create prosperity, said Chairman of the ASEAN-Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Arsjad Rasjid on Saturday.

"ASEAN must realize the power and investment potential that it has to bolster ASEAN's position as a global investment paradise," Rasjid noted at the opening of the 2023 ASEAN Investment Forum (AIF) in Jakarta, a side event of the upcoming 43rd ASEAN Summit.

He remarked that the ASEAN region has promising investment potential and opportunities in agriculture and food, the digital economy, private and public health, electric vehicles, the carbon market, and a regional QR payment system.

The potential and opportunities have made ASEAN a target of foreign direct investment (FDI), which has shown a significant increase in recent years.

In 2010, FDI in ASEAN was only around US$23 billion, and then it rose drastically to US$47 billion in 2021.

"Apart from its investment potential, Southeast Asia also has the advantage of abundant natural energy resources to meet global energy demand," he remarked.

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In terms of the digital economy, ASEAN's digital economy reached US$194 billion in 2022 and is projected to rise to US$330 billion in 2025.

Rasjid, who also serves as the chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), noted that with the investment potential and opportunities, ASEAN has strong economic fundamentals for sustainable development.

The ASEAN-BAC also consistently encourages the ASEAN Investment Forum to strengthen these economic fundamentals to make the ASEAN region a global investment paradise.

Under Indonesia's chairmanship, the ASEAN-BAC held a roadshow to ASEAN countries and ASEAN partners, such as the UK, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, and China, to promote investment potential and opportunities in ASEAN.

"We convinced leaders and entrepreneurs that ASEAN must be considered because it has strong economic fundamentals, and the 2023 ASEAN Investment Forum can be used as a momentum to strengthen ASEAN's position as a global investment paradise," he stated.

He also remarked that the ASEAN Investment Forum 2023 is held to showcase ASEAN's investment opportunities that also contribute to inclusive and sustainable development.

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Translator: Benardy Ferdiansyah, Raka Adji
Editor: Anton Santoso
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