The recent press conference on WEF ASEAN 2018 in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

New Delhi (VNA) – The upcoming World Economic Forum on ASEAN 2018 (WEF ASEAN 2018) has utmost significance for the ASEAN region, according to an Indian business expert.

This was the opinion of Professor, Dr. Faisal Ahmed, Chairman of International Business department at FORE School of Management, a leading business school in New Delhi. He talked to Vietnam News Agency reporters in New Delhi ahead of the WEF ASEAN 2018, which is slated to take place from September 11-13 in Hanoi, Vietnam.

According to the professor, several ASEAN member countries face imminent challenges related to geopolitics, industrialisation, SDGs, green growth and jobs. In the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution i.e. the digital revolution characterised by Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), there are complex challenges for sustained growth.

He noted that this World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN is an effort to engage the policy makers, academia, business, NGO and other stakeholders to deliberate on the digital revolution and finds pragmatic solutions for pressing issues of social and geo-economic significance. With its futuristic agenda as reflected in the theme “ASEAN 4.0: Entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution”, this event would stimulate the effort toward a digital economy for ASEAN.

Prof. Dr. Faisal Ahmed said ASEAN countries need some pragmatic outcomes which can enhance their global competitiveness, through the development and use of digital infrastructure.

On the role of Vietnam and India in the WEF ASEAN, the researcher said this WEF on ASEAN is definitely going to provide the much desired international attention to Vietnam. Vietnam will be able to build global confidence for expanding its market, attracting investment inflows and improving on other socio-economic indicators.

Regarding India, he said if this event comes out with some pragmatic outcomes for reducing supply-side constraints in some ASEAN countries, India can leverage benefits from it through the vibrant Act East Policy. Definitely, Vietnam as a host of this event is taking a lead in strengthening entrepreneurial culture and in job creation efforts in the region and beyond.

Dr. Faisal Ahmed has researched extensively on the geo-economics of the Indo-Pacific region. He held the position of Consultant to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA) and other organisations, and has led project supported by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and Ministry of External Affairs of India.-VNA