PM Anwar: Asia Poised To Tackle Geopolitical Challenges With Economic Strength, Strategic Cooperation

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim emphasized that Asia possesses the economic influence, strategic capacity, and cooperation necessary to navigate geopolitical challenges. Speaking at the 29th International Conference on the Future of Asia, Anwar acknowledged that the region is facing greater challenges than ever before.

However, he noted that, unlike three decades ago, Asia is now well-prepared to strengthen its sails and set the course for its ship. “Asia now contributes more than 35 percent to the world’s GDP and has contributed more to growth than any other region over the past decade. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) alone accounts for nearly one-third of global exports, population, and GDP — making Asia the largest trading bloc in the world.

“In recent years, Asia has demonstrated the positive outcomes achievable through connectivity, integration, and cooperation, such as mega regional trade agreements like the RCEP and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP),” he said during his keynote address.

Anwar stated that the progress made in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) continues, enabling Southeast Asian economies to strengthen their economic integration, contributing to the region’s role as a hub of dynamic and open economic activity.

The AEC aims for ASEAN to be a single market and production base, a highly competitive region with equitable economic development, and fully integrated into the global economy.

Therefore, he emphasized Malaysia’s commitment to championing these aspirations as the country prepares to chair ASEAN next year.

“Economically, our primary focus is to strengthen economic cooperation among ASEAN member states. ASEAN needs to leverage its economic strengths and be investment-centered. The recent diversification of global supply chains and inflows of new foreign direct investment must create significant benefits for development while bridging the gap between ASEAN countries,” he said.

Anwar affirmed that Malaysia will remain committed to fostering shared growth, strengthening regional cooperation, and maintaining openness to trade and development.

Finally, he stressed that ASEAN and its partners bear a collective responsibility to ensure the region remains dynamic, stable, and adaptable, a sentiment fully supported by Malaysia.

The Nikkei Conference, organized annually by Nikkei Inc. since 1995, brings together government leaders and business executives to share their visions for Asia’s future, making it one of the most important global conferences in Asia.

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