JAKARTA, 12 November 2018 – The ASEAN Investment Report 2018 has been released. It examines ASEAN’s rapidly growing digital economy backed by fast expanding digital networks.

This year’s report also offers a dedicated chapter that examines the increasing trend of Australia’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Multinational Enterprise (MNE) activities in the region, highlighting Australia as a key partner of ASEAN.

On its 50th anniversary last year, ASEAN has shown that it remains an investment destination of choice. FDI flows in the region reached an all-time high of US$137 billion, up by 12% from 2016.  The robust inflows also increased ASEAN’s share of global FDI to developing economies. Wholesale and retail trade emerged as the largest industry recipient, overtaking finance and manufacturing sectors, which are traditionally the major FDI recipients. There is also growing interest in health care, research and development activities and e-commerce, including fintech.

Internet transactions, estimated to be worth US$50 billion in 2017, may potentially reach US$200 billion by 2025.  The digital revolution is disrupting and transforming industries and businesses as well as the way goods and services are delivered. The digital economy has also generated opportunities to accelerate development by increasing business efficiency and productivity, widening access to existing or new markets, and facilitating participation in the global value chains. ASEAN countries are actively promoting investment in the digital economy, including through further cooperation on digital connectivity. However, policy and institutional challenges remain.

The ASEAN Investment Report is prepared under a technical cooperation arrangement between the ASEAN Secretariat and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, with inputs from members of the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Investment and supported by the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program Phase II (AADCP II).

The report can be downloaded at: