News & Top Stories

Developing More Leaders in ASEAN, for ASEAN

According to McKinsey & Company, China remains the Goliath of emerging markets, with every fluctuation in its GDP making headlines around the globe. But investors and multinationals are increasingly turning their gaze southward to the ten dynamic markets that make up the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Founded in 1967, ASEAN today encompasses Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam—economies at vastly different stages of development but all sharing immense growth potential. In fact, the region is projected to be the fourth-largest global economy by 2050, but if ASEAN businesses are going to capitalise on this new scale, they must contend with a scarcity of available leadership talent in the region.

To help bridge this gap, the Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI), a subsidiary of Temasek Management Services, in collaboration with Enterprise Singapore, will launch its ASEAN Leadership Programme (ALP) in January 2019 to offer opportunities for business leaders to gain overseas market immersion and necessary development.

The programme, which is part of Singapore's SkillsFuture Leadership Development Initiative and aims to expand the talent of potential leaders for global roles, was highlighted by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget Speech on 19 February 2018. "Workers need to develop deep skills to take Singapore forward and maintain the economy's competitiveness as Asia is poised to offer more opportunities," he said. "There must be depth in whatever we do because this gives us the foundation to innovate, and the ability to compete," he added.

The ALP will focus on creating a vibrant pool of business leaders who understand the unique business environments and cultures of Southeast Asian markets. Through an holistic learning experience, the institute will enable participants to develop a deeper understanding of their own leadership capabilities so as to better position their businesses and enable them to make the most of the region's dynamic growth.

Find out more

About the programme

The first module of the programme will be held in Singapore, where participants will be exposed to topics such as megatrends and leadership characteristics in ASEAN; leading growth and transformation and optimising culture and brand for their organisations. Sessions in Module 2 will focus on building understanding and working with the different business cultures and leadership styles in select ASEAN markets.

This year, Module 2 will be conducted in Jakarta, Indonesia, where participants will develop a deeper understanding of the local business environment, emerging trends and business opportunities. Participants will also be able to dialogue and network with experienced private and public-sector leaders from the ASEAN region.

If you'd like to register your interest in this programme, please email us at

Did you know

  • According to the latest International Monetary Fund World Economic Outlook figures, ASEAN countries' gross domestic products combined amounted to $2.73 trillion in 2017, putting the group ahead of the United Kingdom's 2.63 trillion and India's $2.61 trillion.
  • ASEAN is set to grow even more quickly, as some countries like Vietnam and the Philippines boast huge growth rates. In 2017, Focus Economics estimated that ASEAN's growth had reached a five-year high of 5.2 percent.
  • Part of that fast growth is due to ASEAN's demographics: it has the world's third-largest labour force of more than 600 million people. That's behind China and India, but ahead of the European Union and the United States.
  • The regional group is also set to reap a demographic dividend because more than half of that population is below 30 years old.