Published on 07/03/2024

Melbourne,  Australia, 7 March 2024 – The ASEAN Exchanges, led by Bursa Malaysia and its broker partner, Macquarie Capital, today hosted the Invest ASEAN Conference 2024 in Melbourne, Australia, to promote ASEAN capital markets as a compelling investment destination. Entitled ‘Gateway to ASEAN Investment: Empowering Opportunities for Sustainable Growth’, the event provided institutional investors based in Australia with an opportunity to better understand ASEAN’s economic and market prospects. The platform also profiled ASEAN corporates through one-on-one engagement sessions.


The Honourable Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Prime Minister of Malaysia, officiated and delivered the keynote address on behalf of the ASEAN Exchanges, which were represented by Bursa Malaysia, the Indonesia Stock Exchange, the Philippine Stock Exchange, the Singapore Exchange, and The Stock Exchange of Thailand.


In his keynote address, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim highlighted ASEAN’s vibrant economy, emphasising its potential for sustainable growth towards a green economy and the need for substantial infrastructure investment to facilitate the transition. With trillions of dollars needed in new infrastructure by 2040 and a carbon-neutral future offering significant GDP gains and job creation, ASEAN presents many opportunities for Australian investors and businesses to participate in the region’s growth and development.


Following his keynote address, the Honourable Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim participated in a question and answer session with Nicholas Moore AO, the Australian Government’s Special Envoy for Southeast Asia. The Malaysian Prime Minister emphasised the importance of the close bilateral relationship between Australia and Malaysia, noting that Australia should consider itself an extension of Asia and that Australian investors should aggressively look to Malaysia and the broader ASEAN region for investment opportunities.


During a panel discussion following the Prime Minister’s address, the CEOs and top management of the ASEAN Exchanges discussed their pursuit of different growth opportunities in their respective nations, with a particular focus on making investing in the region more attractive. Opportunities discussed included increasing retail investment through reforms, providing investor education, encouraging standardised Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) reporting and working together to green their supply chains.


“ASEAN, the world’s fifth largest economy with over 670 million people and an estimated AUD5.5 trillion (RM17 trillion[1]) collective GDP, offers Australian businesses vast potential in trade and investment.  In driving sustainable growth, members of the ASEAN Exchanges have undertaken initiatives such as the ASEAN-Interconnected Sustainability Ecosystem to promote sustainable development through common ESG metrics.  This increased transparency will attract responsible investors, creating even greater investment opportunities for Australian businesses committed to sustainability,” said Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift, Chief Executive Officer of Bursa Malaysia, who was one of the panellists.


Welcoming delegates to the event, Macquarie Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Shemara Wikramanayake, said: “Southeast Asia represents a significant economic opportunity for Australia as a developing market for continued trade and investment, as well as a means of diversifying traditionally concentrated trade dependencies with other markets through new channels. This is an opportunity not only for inward investment into the ASEAN but also for deeper financial partnerships.”


Macquarie has been operating in Southeast Asia for nearly 30 years and works closely with all the ASEAN exchanges, providing services to both international and domestic investors.


Invest ASEAN Melbourne 2024 attracted 160 delegates including fixed income, equity and private equity investors. The special event was organised in conjunction with the ASEANAustralia Week run in parallel with the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, which was held earlier between 4-6 March 2024 in Melbourne.


Photo 1: Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim with Invest ASEAN Conference 2024 delegates.




Photo 2: Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim with Nicholas Moore AO, the Australian Government’s Special Envoy for Southeast Asia.



Photo 3: Macquarie Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Shemara Wikramanayake.



Photo 4: ASEAN Exchanges CEOs and top management panel discussion

[L-R] Jayden Vantarakis, Head of ASEAN Equity Research, Macquarie; Datuk Muhamad Umar Swift, CEO, Bursa Malaysia; Iman Rachman, President Director, Indonesia Stock Exchange; Ramon S. Monzon, President and CEO, Philippine Stock Exchange; Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President, The Stock Exchange of Thailand; and Ng Yao Loong, Chief Financial Officer, Singapore Exchange.