S1E98: Why Asean has opportunities in middle of global power rivalry: Asian Insider

  • 26 May 2023

Asean also needs long-term low carbon vision to reinforce supply chain security and competitiveness.

Synopsis: Every fourth Friday of the month, The Straits Times' US Bureau Chief Nirmal Ghosh presents Asian perspectives of Asian domestic issues, and international relations. 

Asean recently held a summit in Indonesia, which in 2023, holds the rotating chair of the 10-member grouping. Indonesia has a key role to play at a critical juncture in global geopolitics.

Former Indonesian Cabinet minister and outgoing managing director of Development Policy and Partnerships at the World Bank in Washington DC - Dr Mari Elka Pangestu - is an avowed “Aseanist”.

In this episode, she tells host Nirmal Ghosh why she urges Asean leaders to take charge and strengthen open regionalism, as a collective "middle power" which can use its agency and benefit from opportunities in the midst of uncertainty. 

Highlights (click/tap above):

1:05 Why the need for a counter-narrative from "middle powers" such as Asean, to navigate great global power competition

3:43 Reinforcing Asean principles such as non-interference, non-alignment; more "open regionalism" meaning not being exclusive to major global powers

4:40 New economy in electric vehicles, climate goals, Asean Digital Economy Framework: Is Asean in the right direction and the critical reforms needed

10:40 Is Asean in a "sweet spot" with US-China rivalry? Data shows relocation of trade and investment

Produced by: Nirmal Ghosh (nirmal@sph.com.sg), Ernest Luis, Eden Soh and Fa’izah Sani

Edited by: Fa’izah Sani

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