Executive Director Roy Michael said that with over 600 million people and a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.4 trillion ringgit ($600 billion) in 2013, ASEAN is the seventh largest market.
“Should the trend continues, it has the potential to become the fourth largest market globally by 2050,” he added.
He told Bernama ASEAN recorded over $1.2 trillion in total merchandise exports, making it one of the most open economic regions in the world.
“Significant progress had been made in integrating the economies of the 10-member states under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) blueprint which is expected to be a reality by year-end,” he said.
Michael was speaking after hosting the ASEAN-US Trade Winds Forum at the Malaysian embassy here on Wednesday. It was attended by American policy and industry leaders.
The half-day forum is a quarterly event hosted on rotation among ASEAN embassies here to increase understanding between American and ASEAN small and medium enterprises.
Panel discussions included updates on the progress of the AEC, challenges in achieving ASEAN economic integration, and the South China Sea dispute.
Among the guest speakers were Malaysia’s ambassador to the United States, Datuk Dr Awang Adek Husin, representatives of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry, and the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.
Also participating were the embassies of Myanmar and the Philippines, the US Department of Commerce, the US Agency for International Development, the Center of Naval Analysis, and the US-ASEAN Business Council.
Meanwhile, MYUSCHAM is hosting an Islamic Finance Conference on October 22, themed, “Islamic Capital Market: Inroads into the US,” with the tagline, “An Alternative Engine for Growth” in Washington DC.
The conference will be helmed by Malaysian and American Islamic capital market players and is spearheaded by Datuk Noripah Kamso, chairman of the MYUSCHAM Islamic Finance Industry Council.
Michael said the conference will be a perfect meeting place for Malaysians and Americans to leverage on opportunities in attracting greater collaboration and cooperation among capital market players.