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ASEAN-BAC and GCEL Announce The ASEAN HumaWealth Program to Position ASEAN as a

Global Leader in Trade Efficiency

At the 2010 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in Hanoi, the ASEAN HumaWealth
Program, a joint ASEAN-BAC/GCEL effort using digital Soft Infrastructure to imp
rove trade efficiency (saving ASEAN USD 44 billion annually), was presented to A
SEAN ministers and leaders as part of an overall emphasis on growing trade and m
aking SMEs more competitive. In summarizing the dialogue with the ministers, Dr.
Doan duy Khuong, ASEAN-BAC Chairman said ASEAN-BAC “received full support for all
that we suggested.”
Hanoi, Vietnam, November 01, 2010 -- At the 2010 ASEAN Business and Investment S
ummit, ASEAN-BAC leaders announced a bold new program with the Global Coalition
for Efficient Logistics (GCEL) to position ASEAN as a global leader in 21st cent
ury trade efficiency. The ASEAN HumaWealth Program will provide the digital too
ls and road map to help businesses in the region to connect much more efficientl
y with businesses in the region and around the world. Since its founding, ASEAN
has focused mainly on physical infrastructure. While public and private leaders
acknowledge that physical infrastructure remains important, digital connections
are now essential to sparking new trade and economic integration. ASEAN has a
clear vision for economic integration by 2010. Dr. Doan duy Khuong, ASEAN-BAC C
hairman, said, “This Program is a highly concrete expression of the Summit’s theme:
From Vision to Action. By putting a digital trade platform in the hands of ASEA
N’s businesses, we can grow our trade, become more competitive, and achieve the ec
onomic integration to which we all aspire.”
The ASEAN HumaWealth Program will begin in a few months, with a commitment from
both ASEAN-BAC leaders and GCEL officials, led by Co-Chairman Captain Samuel Sal
loum, to launch the centerpiece of the initiative in early 2011. The Asia Benc
hmark Trade Lane will deploy new digital soft infrastructure, with an initial re
ach of shipments from Indonesia to India. GCEL officials indicated that China m
ay also participate, based on their ongoing discussions there. The Trade Lane s
erves as a benchmark because it will show how much the cost of moving products f
rom shelf to shelf has decreased after the introduction of the digital tools.
At a news conference at the conclusion of the Business and Investment Summit, Dr
. Khuong stated that the ASEAN HumaWealth Program was an integral part of ASEAN-
BAC’s strong commitment to making SMEs more competitive and to improving trade eff
iciency, with a new emphasis on digital soft infrastructure. The partnership wi
th GCEL and the ongoing commitment to ASEAN’s Trade and Investment Center were par
t of the ASEAN-BAC report to ASEAN ministers and leaders that followed the Summi
t. In summarizing the dialogue with the ministers, Dr. Khuong said ASEAN-BAC “rec
eived full support for all that we suggested.”
Digital soft infrastructure touches every product that ships, every household th
at buys those products, and every business that makes them—along with everyone in
between and the attending service companies. Therefore, the ASEAN HumaWealth Pr
ogram holds significant potential to spur new economic growth across the region.
Based on an in-depth analysis of potential impacts, ASEAN-BAC and GCEL pointed
to five major benefits:
•Reducing the cost of trade within ASEAN from the current average of 10% to 6%, sa
ving the region $44 billion a year and reducing average unit operating costs for
ASEAN businesses by up to 15%.
•Laying the foundation for a trade increase of up to USD 288 billion across Asia,
and the corresponding potential to create up to 12.1 million new jobs in ASEAN.
•Making ASEANʼs millions of SMEs more competitive, more connected with global market
s, and more bankable.
•Opening a vast new market for ASEANʼs finance, insurance, and technology industries
, projected to reach USD 6 trillion by 2020.
•Maximizing throughput through existing trade infrastructure, while enhancing carg
o security, boosting environmental sustainability, and improving disaster impact
ASEAN is at a critical economic turning point, where innovation and SMEs will be
powerful drivers of economic progress. One of the strong features of the ASEAN
HumaWealth Program, said Dato’ Syed Amin Aljeffri, Secretary General of ASEAN-BAC
, is that this new Program will bring much-needed assistance to the region’s milli
on of SMEs. “ASEAN’s small companies are expert at making things, but they often la
ck the capacity to market their products around the world. This Program represe
nts a huge opportunity to help SMEs, the backbone of our economy, connect to glo
bal markets easily, quickly, and reliably.”
GCEL officials said the Program was ideally suited to the vision and entrepreneu
rial spirit of ASEAN’s business leaders. “As a nonprofit public-private partnership
based in Switzerland, we are committed to equal opportunity for all in deliveri
ng 21st century trade efficiency,” said Captain Salloum. “But we are extremely impr
essed with the vision and can-do spirit that ASEAN-BAC brings to this Program.”
ASEAN-BAC leaders and GCEL both committed to ensuring the Program reaches timely
and sure completion. This will include providing regular updates to ASEAN econ
omic ministers, giving ASEAN businesses the training they need to use the new di
gital trade platform, providing the opportunity to ASEAN’s key service industries
to deploy the new technology.
With the ASEAN HumaWealth program now in place, GCEL will be focusing its attent
ion to the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region in coming weeks. Dr. Mark Drabenst
ott, GCEL’s Secretary General, said that that HumaWealth Program holds huge econom
ic potential for MEA. “By reducing the cost of trade, HumaWealth can help this vi
tal region seize the enormous potential evident in its youthful workforce and th
e growing ranks of entrepreneurs.” HumaWealth Awareness events are now being plan
ned throughout the MEA region.
About ASEAN’s Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC)
ASEAN-BAC was established by the ASEAN Heads of State and Government (HOSGs) at
the 7th ASEAN Summit in November 2001 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.
Inaugurated at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia in April 2003, ASEAN
-BACʼs primary mission is to promote public-private sector partnership to achievin
g the integration for the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). ASEAN-B
AC provides private sector feedback on the implementation of ASEAN economic coop
eration and identifies priority areas for the consideration of the ASEAN Leaders
. ASEAN-BAC members are appointed by their respective Governments comprising hig
h-level CEOs of companies from each member country and represented by 3 members
per member country, with one representing the interest of small and medium size
About the Global Coalition for Efficient Logistics (GCEL)
Based in Geneva, Switzerland, GCEL is a nonprofit, public/private partnership wh
ich has developed a comprehensive solution to the multiple problems that make th
e global logistics industry highly inefficient today. GCELʼs members include gover
nments, NGOs, and leading finance, insurance, and technology companies around th
e world. GCEL is currently funded for the benefit of all through the generous su
pport of public/private organizations around the world. The key to GCELʼs approach
is its unique global structural formula that bridges the gap between government
s and the private sector, allowing each to do what they do best. GCELʼs HumaWealth
Program provides the tools and road map to create a 21st century platform for t
rade and commerce. This Program will be deployed in a way that provides a soluti
on that is: truly global; open and equitable to all companies and all regions of
the world; based on partnership rather than competition; and available to all p
otential users throughout the world and free of cost to all.
More information on GCEL can be found at or contact
Gregory Bird
Kuala Lumpur City Center
Kula Lumpur, Malaysia