invitation photo


DATE: 21 April 2020, Tuesday

TIME: 2:00pm – 4:00pm (KL Time, GMT +8)

VENUE: Online Webinar

TOPIC: ASEAN’s Response to COVID-19: Medium-term Outlook and Urgent Stimulus Measures for the Business Sector


Global manufacturing sector and supply chain severely disrupted

The COVID-19 pandemic has sent economic shockwaves around the world. Global supply chains are disrupted and economic activities are coming to a near standstill.

The impact is heightened for ASEAN due to its dependence on China for tourism, raw materials, supply chains links and with China being ASEAN’s largest trading partner. ASEAN also accounts for 14.4% of China’s foreign trade, overtaking the European Union in the first 2 months of 2020 to become China’s largest trading partner. The Purchasing Managers Index of (PMI) which measures supply chain activity of ASEAN dipped into a record low of 43.4 based on data collected from 11-25 March 2020.

Haemorrhages in MSME sectors – lifeblood of the ASEAN economies

The external economic pressure, combined with the imposition of movement controls in ASEAN states in late March-April 2020 resulted in adverse impacts on private consumption, business investment and the decline in the domestic economy. Critically, liquidity squeeze will be disproportionately felt by small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs).

  • Malaysia: A SMEs survey of 15,000 businesses reveals only around one-third of them have sufficient cash flow to sustain their expenses in March 2020.
  • Singapore: The overall SME business sentiment index dropped to an all-time low of 48.3 points, the lowest since the inception of the survey in 2009. Six out of the seven areas surveyed saw declining expectations, with significant dips seen in turnover, profitability, and access to financing.

Economic measures in response to COVID-19

Several ASEAN governments have announced various fiscal, non-fiscal measures to provide relief to impacted industries. Other measures and stimulus packages are being put in place to cushion the impact by providing their citizens with tax breaks, debt restructuring and cash handouts. Between January-March 2020, the Malaysian government has announced a total of US$62.783 billion worth of relief and stimulus package, Singapore with US$38.6 billion, US$26.67 billion by Indonesia, US$16.04 billion by Thailand and US$3.922 billion by the Philippines within the same period.


In this special online edition, prominent expert and business leaders from five major economies in ASEAN, namely Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines will be discussing:

  • Business-specific relief and governmental support needed to ensure continuity of business for many MSMEs in the region
  • Gaps in the stimulus packages that need addressing
  • Fundamental weaknesses in the ASEAN business environment and shed light on possible new opportunities for businesses
  • Evaluate the medium term market outlook in light of the changes to the business landscape


​​Tan Sri Dr. Munir Majid
Chairman, CIMB ASEAN Research Institute
President, ASEAN Business Club, Malaysia

​​Chua Soon Ghee,
Partner, Kearney, Singapore

​​Arin Jira,
Chairman, Map Ta Phut Industrial Gasses Co Ltd, Thailand

​​Jose Ma Concepcion III,
President and CEO, RFM Corporation, Philippines

​​Shinta Widjaja Kamdani,
CEO, Sintesa Group, Indonesia

Participation is strictly by invitation only. For further enquiries and details kindly email to