Seminar talks emerging opportunities, challenges in ASEAN hinh anh 1New headquarters of ASEAN Secretariat (Photo: VNA)

Tokyo (VNA) – The ASEAN – Japan Centre, the ASEAN Committee in Tokyo and the ASEAN Secretariat held a seminar on emerging opportunities and challenges in ASEAN in Tokyo on August 26.

Speaking at the event, ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Aladdin D.Rillo said the regional grouping is now the world’s fifth largest economy with a total population of over 649 million people. During 2007 – 2018, its total trade nearly doubled to over 2.7 trillion USD. Last year, its member states attracted 151.2 billion USD in foreign direct investment, 14.8 percent of which was internal.

He said with an annual economic growth of nearly 5.5 percent, ASEAN could surpass Japan to become the fourth largest economy by 2025, behind China, India and the US.

Rillo also pointed out challenges faced by ASEAN such as the fourth industrial revolution, trade tension among major powers and population aging.

Notably, the US – China trade tension is negatively affecting the Southeast Asia. Specifically, five out of the six largest regional economies such as Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam stalled in the first quarter of this year, he said.

Participants at the seminar also touched upon the ageing of the population and the impact of the phenomenon on the socio-economic development of the ASEAN countries.-VNA