ASEAN’s Next Economic Revolution

Club of Rome Fellow Chandran Nair recently attended the World Economic Forum’s ASEAN meeting in Phnom Penh. In an article for the meeting, Chandran takes a look at the region’s past development and the challenges ahead.

In particular, he addresses the chocking haze in numerous countries driven by slash-and-burn agriculture for palm oil plantations, urbanization, and food supply. Nair concludes:

“Given the progress ASEAN has made in 50 years, the temptation is to see a linear trajectory of development and progress. But it would be too simplistic to pin all hopes on a Fourth Industrial Revolution as the key to the future of the region. If the sustainability challenges, which will affect hundreds of millions in the region, are to be tackled, then ASEAN will need to first address of some of the pre-industrial practices that prevail and create a socio-economic revolution of its own that reflect its realities.”