Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia said investment flows to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries in 2022 had grown five percent, surpassing the global level and developed countries, Antara news agency reported.
He made this statement at the 26th ASEAN Investment Area (AIA) Council Meeting in Semarang, Central Java, Saturday (8/19), which was attended by all ASEAN members and representatives of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
“The difference in investment flows to developing countries, which increased by four percent, is in stark contrast compared to global and developed countries investment flows,” said the minister in a statement here on Sunday.
“Investment flows to Southeast Asia have even increased by up to five percent, surpassing the global level and developed countries. Southeast Asian ministers have succeeded in attracting investment to this region.”
UNCTAD in the Special Asean Investment Report (AIR) 2023 describes Asean investment growth in 2022, which increased by five percent with a total investment of US$224 billion.
This achievement is the highest record in history amid world investment flows which fell by up to 12 percent in the same year.
The decline in investment growth was dominated by developed countries, with the decline triggered by the wars between Russia and Ukraine which resulted in increases in world food and energy prices.
Responding to the report, Lahadalia, who is also the AIA Council Chair, said that the data is in line with the theme of the 2023 Asean Indonesia Chair to make the Asean region the centre of world growth.
However, the minister emphasised the importance of prioritising the principle of equity in investment because most of the FDI flows are only enjoyed by less than one percent of the Asean population.
“The concentration of FDI in a handful of groups will threaten the unity of ASEAN in the future. In 2022, 60 percent of FDI that enters Asean can only be enjoyed by less than one percent of the Asean population.”
“In the future, Asean needs to foster more concrete collaboration to promote and facilitate investment so that Asean can truly become one community, one home, one family.”
During the pandemic in 2020, manufacturing growth continued to grow to reach US$11 billion when the whole world was in a slump. Recovery from the pandemic in Asean is also progressing quickly.
The UNCTAD report also underlined the sharp increase in manufacturing growth in ASEAN.
This recovery is demonstrated by a 400 percent growth jump to US$55 billion in 2021 and continues to rise to US$62 billion in 2022.
In the meantime, the 26th AIA Council Meeting which is part of the Asean Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting was attended by representatives from ten Asean countries dealing with investment issues.
UNCTAD is supported by the Government of Indonesia in preparing the 2023 Special Asean Investment Report (AIR) study.
The study contains the theme International Investment Trends: Key Issues and policy options, which discusses global FDI trends and policies related to FDI in the world, new issues that have arisen, as well as policy choices related to new issues.