8th ASEAN Economic Community Dialogue

The 8th ASEAN Economic Community Dialogue is now closed. Find out more about the the opening remarks made below.

The ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Business Advisory Council, and the Tech for Good Institute invite you to the 8th ASEAN Economic Community Dialogue: Promoting the Growth of the Digital Start-Up Ecosystem in ASEAN.  

Our diverse set of notable speakers will share their perspectives on how the digital start-up ecosystem in the region can be further enhanced so that its potential as an engine for economic growth can be realized in an equitable, inclusive, sustainable manner. 

The Dialogue’s insights will be incorporated into a report for ASEAN member states on the topic of supporting start-ups’ growth, and serve as a contribution to one of the key Priority Economic Deliverables under Cambodia’s Chairmanship of ASEAN this year.

The opening remarks will be delivered by: 

    • Mr. Soe Thein, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Transport and Communications, Republic of the Union of Myanmar, and Chair of ASEAN Digital Senior Officials Meeting; 
    • H.E. Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community
    • Bernardino Vega, Chair of ASEAN Business Advisory Council Indonesia

Tech for Good Institute’s Founding Executive Director Dr. Ming Tan will give a scene-setter presentation to provide an update on the state of play of ASEAN’s digital startup ecosystem and highlight megatrends shaping its development.

Join the discussion as our speakers will cover two panel-session tracks: 

  • Session 1: Unlocking ASEAN’s Entrepreneurial Potential

ASEAN has many ingredients for a thriving start-up ecosystem.

They include: a young population, a fast-growing, tech-savvy middle class, an increasing digital society, and a staggering US$1T internet economy projected amongst Southeast Asia-6 countries by 2030. A study conducted by the ASEAN Secretariat on developing a framework for promoting growth of digital startups in ASEAN in 2021 identified six key success factors to enhance the digital startups ecosystem in the region namely: talent, education, funding, connectedness, legal environment, and infrastructure.

What more can (and should) be done in these areas for the region to live up to its entrepreneurial potential? How can we boost growth through technological leapfrogging?

The panel convenes leaders at the forefront of driving ASEAN’s digital economy to identify areas for attention, and collaboration to help more innovative ideas from digital startups take root, scale, and succeed.

  • Speakers: 
    • Karaniya Dharmasaputra, General Secretary, Asosiasi Fintech Indonesia (AFTECH), and President, OVO
    • Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) Singapore
    • Dita Aisyah, Co-Founder and Chief of Business Development Officer, Binar Academy
    • Paula Paw, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Versafleet
  • Session 2: Shaping ASEAN Digital Start-Up’s Growth for Good

Technological and business innovation borne out of ASEAN’s digital startup ecosystem has to be in service to the communities that use them.

What does a healthy ecosystem, and good growth for society in the digital economy look like for the region? What are the next areas for growth? Where does sustainability and circularity position in the eyes of startups and capital ventures? How might ASEAN shape them to advance the region’s development goals?

The panel gathers influential actors from the public and private sector across ASEAN for a discussion on how we might shape, and nurture technology’s promise for good to advance the agenda of building a sustainable and inclusive society.

  • Speakers:
    • Ahmad Kashfi Alwi, Senior Vice President at Cradle Fund
    • Dawn Chan, CEO, Centre for Impact Investing and Practices and Managing Director, Investments at Temasek Trust Capital
    • Lim Yew Heng, Group Managing Director, Public Affairs, Grab
    • Carlo Calimon, Director at StartUp Village and Founder, President/CEO, MobKard

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Mouna Aouri

Programme Fellow

Mouna Aouri is an Institute Fellow at the Tech For Good Institute. As a social entrepreneur, impact investor, and engineer, her experience spans over two decades in the MENA region, South East Asia, and Japan. She is founder of Woomentum, a Singapore-based platform dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs in APAC through skill development and access to growth capital through strategic collaborations with corporate entities, investors and government partners.

Dr Ming Tan

Founding Executive Director

Dr Ming Tan is founding Executive Director for the Tech for Good Institute, a non-profit founded to catalyse research and collaboration on social, economic and policy trends accelerated by the digital economy in Southeast Asia. She is concurrently a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Governance and Sustainability at the National University of Singapore and Advisor to the Founder of the COMO Group, a Singaporean portfolio of lifestyle companies operating in 15 countries worldwide.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of technology, business and society, including sustainability and innovation.


Ming was previously Managing Director of IPOS International, part of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, which supports Singapore’s future growth as a global innovation hub for intellectual property creation, commercialisation and management. Prior to joining the public sector, she was Head of Stewardship of the COMO Group and the founding Executive Director of COMO Foundation, a grantmaker focused on gender equity that has served over 47 million women and girls since 2003.


As a company director, she lends brand and strategic guidance to several companies within the COMO Group. Ming also serves as a Council Member of the Council for Board Diversity, on the boards of COMO Foundation and Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC), and on the Digital and Technology Advisory Panel for Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s national performing arts centre.


In the non-profit, educational and government spheres, Ming is a director of COMO Foundation and Singapore Network Information Centre (SGNIC) and chairs the Asia Advisory board for Swiss hospitality business and management school EHL. She also serves on  the Council for Board Diversity and the Digital and Technology Advisory Panel for Esplanade–Theatres on the Bay, Singapore’s national performing arts centre.


Ming was educated in Singapore, the United States, and England. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Stanford University and her doctorate from Oxford.