CEO Forum

The Business Summit’s CEO Forum on 17 March 2018 is an historic opportunity for regional business leaders to help shape and strengthen ASEAN and Australia trade and investment links.

Prominent business leaders from ASEAN member states and Australia will come together to examine topics vital to deepening economic integration, including: agri-food supply chains; infrastructure; advanced manufacturing and industry 4.0; digital transformation in services; future energy; and tourism destination development and aviation.

The CEO Forum Roundtable discussions will develop policy recommendations and suggest practical initiatives to bolster the ASEAN-Australia trade and investment relationship. This will culminate in the development of policy recommendations for the Leaders at the Special Summit.

CEO Forum Roundtables

Tourism destination development and aviation

Australia and ASEAN countries share a focus on developing a world-class tourism industry and benefiting from global growth in the sector. The number of international trips being taken is booming worldwide – 2016 was the ninth consecutive year of growth in international tourist arrivals. These trends are expected to continue, driven by a growing middle class both inside ASEAN and in nearby countries. This roundtable discusses how to capture these opportunities by deepening Australia-ASEAN cooperation, particularly in the areas of skills development and enhancing tourist mobility.

Digital Transformation in services

This roundtable looks at the profound transformations underway in the digital services sector. Emerging digital services have the potential to increase openness, collaboration, mitigate risk and promote resource allocation. Greater Australian and ASEAN collaboration on fintech and edtech could promote greater access to financial services and education. ASEAN and Australia can also work together in developing new digital trade standards and enhancing cyber security.

Advanced manufacturing and Industry 4.0

This roundtable on industry 4.0, or the fourth industrial revolution, considers the trend of digitalisation in manufacturing, improved automation, machine-to-machine and human-to-human communication and continued technological improvements. In particular, the roundtable considers the impact that these changes has on business, and ways in which Australian and ASEAN businesses can work together to manage the challenges of the future.

Agri-food supply chain logistics

This roundtable will consider how ASEAN and Australia can maximise opportunities for cooperation in agriculture and food production, including the supply chain and logistics that support it. ASEAN’s growing position as a global food production hub presents as

opportunity for greater two-way investment and further integration of Australian and ASEAN products in global value chains.

Future energy supply chains

Australia and ASEAN are well-matched to be key partners in meeting the shared challenge of energy security, affordability and environmental sustainability. The proximity of Australia and ASEAN, the shared focus on producing high quality energy exports and the growing demand in the region for new energy resources and technologies are all key drivers. Roundtable participants may discuss opportunities to collaborate on infrastructure planning and investment, new energy generation and distribution technologies, and policy and regulatory settings that support an improved trade and investment environment.


ASEAN’s rapid urbanisation and increasing middle class is creating vast opportunities for business through accelerating economic growth, improving productivity and raising demand. Accompanying rapid growth is a need to meet ASEAN’s increasing infrastructure requirements, with the Global Infrastructure hub estimating that ASEAN countries will need a total of US$4.2 trillion of infrastructure investment up to 2040 to support future growth and improve infrastructure provision. Australia also has an ambitious agenda for infrastructure development, including over $75 billion planned in transport infrastructure and programs to encourage better city design. This roundtable discusses key barriers to deepening Australia-ASEAN cooperation on infrastructure, including in the areas of infrastructure financing and smart city design.

This Business Summit is an important lead-in event to the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, delivered in partnership with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Industry Group, the Business Council of Australia and the Export Council of Australia.