“One Vision, One Identity, One Community.” That’s the motto of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), a regional intergovernmental organization made up of 10 countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The goal of regional cooperation is to facilitate common interests, unifying the region through mutual cooperation while simultaneously recognizing each country’s cultural, social and economic identity. Yet recent trends, including increased geopolitical polarization, trade conflicts and health crises, including the outbreak of COVID-19, threaten the interconnectedness of the region.
In response, here are four strategies from local leaders in government, business and civil society who have created innovative solutions to enhance the region’s cohesion. They are members of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, a World Economic Forum community of leaders under the age of 40 who are working to drive positive change in the world.
What is a YGL?
The YGL community is made up of more than 1,300 members and alumni, including public officials, business innovators, artists, educators, technology developers, journalists and activists.
The mission of the Forum of Young Global Leaders is to create a dynamic global community of exceptional people with the vision, courage and influence to drive positive change in the world.
Aligned with the World Economic Forum’s mission, they seek to spur public-private cooperation amongst these unique actors to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest.
Representing more than 100 nationalities, Young Global Leaders are united by the belief that the urgent problems of today present an opportunity to forge a better future across sectors, generations and borders.
Visit the YGL website at: https://www.younggloballeaders.org/
Increase access to healthcare.
For ASEAN to prosper, access to healthcare is key. In Singapore, David Sin, co-founder, group president and deputy chairman of healthcare platform Fullerton Health, is transforming how primary care is provided across ASEAN and the wider Asia-Pacific as a whole.
Seeking to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for all, David says it is this vision that unites his team, which works across 10 markets in nine countries, including four ASEAN member states (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore).
“In a world that is increasingly insular and divisive, it is more important than ever for leaders to stand for and encourage inclusiveness, dialogue, and openness,” he said.
“Fullerton Health integrates patients, payors and providers on our regional healthcare platform to facilitate seamless access and consistent quality of care across ASEAN.”
In caring for over 10 million patients in the region, David demonstrates the immense opportunity for ASEAN’s healthcare system. As healthcare costs for the average citizen continue to increase, it will become more arduous for the national expenditures of ASEAN members to take them on.
This, coupled with a rapidly ageing population will mean that the region will need to work together to invest in a shared future to fulfil its citizens’ healthcare needs. Through stronger cross-regional sharing of viable healthcare models, the private sector has an equally key role to play as the public sector in determining how the region maintains its spirit for integration.
Invest in sustainable agriculture.
Agriculture in ASEAN has been a major industry for the region and offers another opportunity for regional collaboration. In a region as diverse as ASEAN, each member has different agriculture it produces, including rice, tea, soybeans and maize. What has profited ASEAN countries in the form of exports has also fed…