ASEAN-BAC Pushes For Sustainable Development And Decarbonization In The ASEAN Region

A file photo of Arsjad Rasjid Emphasizes The Importance of ASEAN-BAC’s Priority Issues for Sustainable Development in APEC and Borneo

Arsjad Rasjid, the Chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) and Chair of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin Indonesia), together with the entire delegation, conducted a roadshow to Brunei Darussalam. In addition to promoting the five priority issues and eight legacy programs of ASEAN-BAC this year, the visit to Brunei was also carried out to align with the vision and mission of ASEAN-BAC and the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), then establish cooperation to develop Kalimantan through the Brunei Borneo Business Conference, as well as to strive for cooperation in sustainable development between Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia.


According to Arsjad, various priority issues and programs of ASEAN-BAC are in line with the APEC agenda, which is committed to realizing an inclusive, innovative, and sustainable economic region in the region’s countries. Therefore, APEC-BAC can work together with ASEAN-BAC to support various priority issues and legacy programs, especially in sustainable development.

“Sustainable development is closely related to the initiative of net zero emissions in various sectors such as trade and industry. Through ASEAN-BAC this year, we are pushing for efforts to decarbonize industry to be achieved soon,” explained Arsjad.


Speaking about climate change, countries in the ASEAN region are highly vulnerable, which can affect various sectors, including business and industry. The Climate Risk Index data for 2019 stated that there are three ASEAN countries that are highly vulnerable to climate change, namely Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand. Even ASEAN itself contributes 8% to the total global emissions.

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Responding to this, Arsjad also mentioned that APEC-BAC can participate in providing input and understanding in carrying out the initiative programs from ASEAN-BAC. As an institution with extensive resources and financing access, APEC-BAC can be a strategic partner to strengthen climate change mitigation in the ASEAN region.

In a global context, climate change is becoming an increasingly urgent issue and needs to be seriously addressed. Therefore, efforts to mitigate climate change undertaken by ASEAN-BAC and supported by APEC-BAC are essential to encourage better sustainable development in the ASEAN region and the world.

It should be noted that the collaboration between APEC-BAC and ASEAN-BAC is not only related to sustainable development but also the development of business and private sectors in the Asia-Pacific region. Chair of APEC-BAC and the Chair of Kadin Indonesia Supervisory Board, Anindya Bakrie, stated that this collaboration can open up access to resources and financing for business and industry players.

“APEC-BAC can provide support and input on initiative programs from ASEAN-BAC to achieve carbon-free trade and industry. Strong cooperation between the two organizations is expected to accelerate sustainable economic development and strengthen the position of the Asia-Pacific economy on the global stage,” said Anindya.

The ASEAN-BAC delegation held meetings with other important parties in Brunei Darussalam, including a meeting to discuss collaborative development projects in Borneo that need to prioritize sustainable concepts.

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According to Arsjad, the connectivity gap between regions in Borneo is a challenge that needs to be addressed, and cooperation between the government and the private sector is encouraged to build sustainable industrial and economic growth.

Integration with BIMP-EAGA, which has several connectivity development projects such as the Sarawak and Sabah toll roads, the expansion of the Bitung International Port, green city projects in Kendari, and other development initiatives such as restoring air connectivity and opening new sea routes, is essential.

“The issue of deforestation also needs to be resolved by relying on green concepts in the development of new renewable energy industrial ecosystems. Provinces in Kalimantan that are an important part of Borneo integration also have the potential to become a supply chain for ASEAN electric vehicles and can be integrated into an electric vehicle and battery ecosystems,” added Arsjad.

In addition, Indonesia, which will also relocate its capital to North Kalimantan, will adopt the smart city concept that relies on the use of new renewable energy to make Kalimantan a center for a green economy in ASEAN.

“Indonesia is building a new capital area that is capable of utilizing new renewable energy, namely the Nusantara Capital (IKN). We are also building the Indonesian Kalimantan Industrial Park (KIPI) which will become the center for our green industrial and energy ecosystem. Therefore, we invite Brunei to take part in the development of this area,” said Arsjad.

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Bernardino Vega, Alternate Chair of ASEAN-BAC, said that all collaborative efforts should be able to advance sustainable economic growth throughout the ASEAN region.

“We, from ASEAN-BAC, hope that every collaborative initiative can run well and sustainably with sub-regions like Borneo through the formation of the Borneo Economic Council which is expected to embrace all stakeholders in Kalimantan. We also hope that the five priority issues and eight legacy programs brought by ASEAN-BAC Indonesia this year can be accepted by all countries,” concluded Dino.

The ASEAN-BAC delegation includes ASEAN-BAC Chair, Arsjad Rasjid; Chair of Kadin Supervisory Board, Anindya Bakrie; Coordinating Vice Chairwoman for Maritime, Investment, and International Affairs, Shinta W. Kamdani; Coordinating Vice Chairwoman for Human Development, Research, and Innovation Affairs, Carmelita Hartoto; ASEAN BAC Alternate Chair, Bernardino Vega; and Executive Director of the ASEAN-BAC Secretariat, Gil Gonzales.

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