The ASEAN Committee in Madrid (ACM), in cooperation with Casa Asia, successfully conducted an investment forum at the Casa Asia headquarters in Barcelona on 26 October 2016. More than 70 businessmen and investors from the Catalonian region, participated in the forum dubbed “ASEAN DAY: Business potentials of the ASEAN Connectivity”.
Mr. Ramón Moreno, Director-General of Casa Asia, gave the opening remarks along with Mr. Joan Canals, President of the International Commission of Foment del Treball. They were followed by the current ACM Chairperson, Ambassador Yuli Mumpuni Widarso of Indonesia, who gave an overview of the ACM as well as the latest developments in ASEAN and its connectivity programs.
Ambassador Kennedy Jawan of Malaysia, Ambassador Rattikul Chansuriya of Thailand, Chargé d’Affaires and Consul General Emmanuel Fernandez of the Philippines and Deputy Head of Chancery Ly Duc Trong of Vietnam presented the business prospects and investment opportunities in their respective countries, in line with the goals of ASEAN Connectivity. In his presentation, Consul General Fernandez highlighted the Philippines’ strategic geographic location, demographic strength, remarkable GDP growth, substantial foreign reserves, manageable inflation rate, increase in global competitiveness, infrastructure requirements and investment priority areas.
After the country presentations, Spanish businessmen shared their experience in doing business in ASEAN countries. Antonio Viñal, Senior Partner of Antonio Viñal Attorneys at Law, gave an insight on how his company expanded to the Asian market by establishing an office in Kuala Lumpur, as well as giving advice to companies which plan to do business in Southeast Asia. Mr. José Antonio Travieso, CaixaBank Chief Representative in Singapore, likewise enumerated the risks and opportunities for Spanish companies in Southeast Asia. Mr. Den Yealta of the Free Trade Zone Authority Tanjungpinang in Indonesia and Ms. Noorhazlina Mahamad Nor of the Malaysian Investment Development Authority also made presentations on their respective investment opportunities.
The forum was followed by cocktails featuring Philippine, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai and Vietnamese cuisine
Catalonia is one of Spain’s most prosperous regions, contributing 18.9% to Spain’s GDP and has one of the highest GDP per capita among the country´s autonomous communities.