Top Leaders Discuss How Businesses Can Succeed in ASEAN Developing Economies at Channel NewsAsia Forums


Vientiane, Laos, 8 September 2016 – Regional broadcaster, Channel NewsAsia, brought together business leaders and the government sector for two forums held during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) 2016, at Muong Thanh Luxury Hotel in Vientiane, Laos. On 6th September, a Business Insights ASEAN Special forum on how businesses can “Succeed in ASEAN Developing Economies” took place. This was followed by a Special Session with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) who spoke about “ASEAN Economic Development Perspectives” on 7th September.

With the rising economic profiles of ASEAN countries, there has been growing interest from investors and multinationals across the globe. Both forums, which were moderated by Channel NewsAsia Presenter and Executive Editor, Chloe Cho, involved discussions around how businesses can achieve their positive growth agenda.

“It is essential to have an open conversation on issues and challenges faced by business communities in this region as they are currently at different stages of development. Channel NewsAsia is privileged to provide a platform to help the international community to understand not only the challenges but the factors that drive success in the region”, said Mr Yong Chung Jin, Vice President of Marketing, Distribution and Innovation at Mediacorp.

Special Session with Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, on “ASEAN Economic Development Perspectives”

Christine Lagarde commented during the one-on-one discussion with Chloe Cho that “ASEAN countries don’t trade massively with each other, only half in percentage terms compared to Europe. This is where economic integration will be important. Furthermore, there are lessons from other countries such as China which ASEAN countries should take advantage of”.

When asked about the lessons ASEAN countries can learn from Europe and Brexit, she said, “With the ASEAN Economic Community, all countries in ASEAN are starting together and this is important. There is shared value to proceed together, being bound together and to integrate. Joint projects and investments in the region are also important. In addition, there is value on preserving culture – economic integration does not mean any of the ASEAN countries would need to lose its culture.”

Channel NewsAsia Business Insights ASEAN Special

The panellists of this forum included business leaders from the private sector of Laos:

  • Anna Green, CEO, ANZ Bank Laos
  • Khamsinthavong Nhouvyvanisvong – Advisor to the President of ST Group
  • Alain Sengkeopraseuth, CEO, Green Hills Coffee
  • Vanpheng Somsana, Director, Khamphay Sana Group

One of the strategic areas of discussion during the session was how businesses in Laos had to overcome various challenges over the past two decades including the financial crisis, difficulty obtaining loans and investment as well as competition in the market. Viewpoints were also exchanged on solutions to help companies grow and the future vision for businesses in ASEAN, where there is potential for relationships to be forged across the region to exchange knowledge, understand consumers better and expand operations.

Highlights from the Channel NewsAsia Business Insights ASEAN Special and the Special Session with Christine Lagarde will be telecast on Channel NewsAsia ASEAN Special on 14 September, 9.30pm (SIN/HK/MNL time), 8.30pm (YGN/JKT/BKK time).

Channel NewsAsia’s Business Insights ASEAN Special was the latest in the successful series of business forums organised by the channel across Asia. The series aims to gather and engage a network of distinguished guests of top level government officials, senior corporate executives and regional business leaders, in a robust discussion, to share thoughts and perspectives on current affairs and socioeconomic issues that impact the business environment around us.

Channel NewsAsia has organised Business Insights in Indonesia (2013 & 2015), Malaysia (2014), Vietnam (2014), Myanmar (2014), Thailand (2013 & 2015), and Singapore (2015).

ABIS 2016 was held from 5th to 7th September and coincided with the 28th ASEAN Summit. The Summit provided a platform for the business community to engage with ASEAN leaders, business leaders, entrepreneurs and key decision makers to identify, discuss and develop answers to pressing issues that impact the region’s investment attractiveness and business potential.

“At ABIS 2016, we have discussed and showcased a number of issues faced by the private sector and the AEC Blueprint. We covered topics about small and medium enterprises (SMEs), e-commerce and digitalisation and overall business vision. We are very happy to have so many delegates at ABIS 2016 and the participation of various heads of states”, said Mr. Oudet Souvannavong, Chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council.

About Channel NewsAsia

Channel NewsAsia Singapore was established in March 1999 by Mediacorp, and is an English language Asian TV News channel. Positioned to “Understand Asia”, it reports on global developments with Asian perspectives. Channel NewsAsia brings viewers not only the latest news but also the stories behind the headlines. Based in Singapore, it has correspondents in major Asian cities and key Western ones, including New York, Washington D.C., London and Brussels.

The channel is complemented by an online presence at, and social media services like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Channel NewsAsia (International), was launched in September 2000. It is now viewed in 28 territories across Asia with its satellite footprint stretching across the Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Northeast Asia and Australia.

Mediacorp is a Singapore-based media company with a complete range of platforms, spanning television, radio, newspapers, magazines, digital and out-of-home media.

For more information, please visit Channel NewsAsia’s website at

About Channel NewsAsia Business Insights

Channel NewsAsia Business Insights is a series of business leadership forums that aims to gather and engage a network of distinguished guests of top level government officials, senior corporate executives and regional business leaders, in a robust discussion, to share thoughts and perspectives on current affairs and socioeconomic issues that impacts the business environment around us. In recent years, Channel NewsAsia Business Insights was hosted in Indonesia, Thailand (2013), Myanmar, Malaysia, Vietnam (2014) and Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore (2015).

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