Chairperson of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC), Arsjad Rasjid, has invited business companies in the United Kingdom (UK) to invest in efforts to reduce carbon emissions and bolster health services in Southeast Asian countries.
Rasjid and a number of representatives of ASEAN-BAC met with business actors in London, UK, from May 14-18, 2023.
“Southeast Asian countries’ efforts to achieve net-zero emissions require close collaboration and partnership with trading partners from beyond the region, one of which is the United Kingdom,” he said in a statement released on Friday.
He noted that ASEAN member countries are striving to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 or earlier, and currently, the countries contribute approximately 8 percent to global carbon emissions.
“The UK is the starting point for ASEAN-BAC to attract more European countries to invest in Southeast Asian countries, considering the UK’s achievements and experience as a pioneer of the voluntary carbon market implemented by the Bank of England,” the ASEAN-BAC chairperson said.
He informed that his party has been mandated by the leaders of Southeast Asian countries under Indonesia’s 2023 ASEAN chairmanship to carry out two legacy projects related to carbon emissions, namely the ASEAN Net Zero Hub and Carbon Center of Excellence.
The ASEAN Net Zero Hub serves as a knowledge-sharing platform for industry players who have started to implement decarbonization, he said.
Meanwhile, the Carbon Center of Excellence is a platform for exchanging information on carbon trading activities, he added.
Furthermore, ASEAN-BAC has also invited British business actors to establish investment cooperation in the health sector to improve health infrastructure in ASEAN countries, said Michael Rampangilei, legacy lead for the ASEAN One Shot Campaign legacy project.
Apart from the ASEAN One Shot Campaign, health services in Southeast Asia would also be improved through the development of the ASEAN Healthcare Market as well as genetic and mRNA technologies, he added.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ASEAN had the highest tuberculosis incidence in the world in 2021. Meanwhile, the number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infections and malaria cases in ASEAN was the third- and second-highest in the world, respectively.
In addition, 9 million people in Southeast Asian countries die of non-communicable diseases annually.
Meanwhile, Bernardino Vega, deputy chairperson of ASEAN-BAC, said that he expects close collaboration and partnership between ASEAN and the UK to bolster the establishment of sustainable infrastructure for the international community.