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“Edges of Southeast Asia”: A new narrative that offers a window into the diverse potential of Southeast Asia

Deloitte Center for the Edge explores emerging trends in Southeast Asia and showcases bright spots of innovation and creativity in the region

SINGAPORE, 11 December 2020 — The Asia Pacific Deloitte Center for the Edge launched “Edges of Southeast Asia” at the opening panel session at the Singapore Week of Innovation & Technology(“SWITCH”) 2020.

Jointly developed by Deloitte, the Singapore Economic Development Board and the US-ASEAN Business Council, the Edges of Southeast Asia features 25 cases that highlight emerging trends in the region, including:

  • ecoSPIRITS – A Singapore company that is redefining the spirit distribution system by using reusable, stackable 4.5 litre ecoTOTE vessels to transport spirits in bulk.
  • Global Halal Data Pool – A Malaysian company using tech tools to synchronise halal standards for millions of businesses.
  • Anurak Saruethai – The son of a fisherman in Thailand taking direct-to-consumer to the next level by selling seafood on Facebook to over a million followers.
  • Halodoc – An app in Indonesia that will link you up with a doctor for a virtual consultation for just over US$1 and deliver medicine to your door.

Drawing influence from a diverse range of social, technological, economic, and political megatrends to better understand the complex dynamics shaping the business world, Edges of Southeast Asia presents high growth potential opportunities within the ASEAN region. Understanding these emerging edges will be critical for future business success. An ‘Edge’ is defined as a new customer segment, geographic market or product that has the potential to eventually transform how value is created or captured.

The panel session at SWITCH titled “Edges of Southeast Asia – Hidden in Plain Sight” saw Cindy Hook, Deloitte Asia Pacific CEO, Kai Fong Chng, Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board and Ambassador Michael Michalak, Regional Managing Director of US-ASEAN Business Council give their diverse perspectives on the broader global trends and how the emerging Edges align with deeper currents in the region.

Moderator Mr Duleesha Kulasooriya, Head of the Deloitte Center for the Edge in Asia Pacific, shared, “As you explore the Edges of Southeast Asia, you will realise that they go well beyond the opportunities for digitalisation to reveal untold stories of economic inclusion, urban renewal, sustainability, a rising middle-class and an evolving identity and aesthetic. Southeast Asia is home to a new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs and changemakers who have demonstrated their grit, passion and conviction to break through linguistic, cultural and geographical complexities to showcase the untapped potential of the region. As the world begins to look to the horizon of recovery from the pandemic, Southeast Asia is aspiring beyond, to a more ambitious new normal.” 

Ms Cindy Hook, Chief Executive Officer, Deloitte Asia Pacific said “The past decade in Southeast Asia has been about growth, and the coming decade will be about reinvention and acceleration. Innovation and the ability to adapt and scale quickly is a competitive advantage for businesses in Southeast Asia. With the Edges of Southeast Asia, we hope to inspire not only start-ups but also larger, well established organisations to reimagine business models and accelerate growth opportunities and emerge stronger from the crisis.” 

“ASEAN has been cited as home to great examples of technology adoption and innovation”, said Ambassador Michael Michalak, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director of USASEAN Business Council. “This reflects the strong digital economy ecosystem in the region, which has grown from US$32 billion in 2015 to US$100 billion in 2019. The Edges of Southeast Asia series offers a window into the diverse potential of ASEAN markets in utilising innovation to not just bounce back, but to maximise their economic potential and bounce forward in the new normal,” he added.

Southeast Asia will continue to be one of the fastest-growing region in the world. Many elements will play a role in building a brighter future for the region, and Deloitte, Singapore EDB and the USASEAN Business Council are committed to supporting businesses, governments and the people in the region on this growth journey. 

Click on the image to explore the Edges of Southeast Asia:

About the Asia Pacific Deloitte Center for the Edge

The Center for the Edge’s mission is to identify and explore opportunities on the edge of business and technology, helping leaders understand the fundamental changes shaping the world, unlock innovation potential and drive sustainable growth for everyone. It does this by focusing on the disruptions that are emerging from the “Edges” – the boundaries of what is “Core” today. 

In 2019, the Deloitte Center for the Edge expanded its global presence from North America, Europe and Australia to Asia, opening a new office in November 2020 at the National Design Centre in Singapore. Connect with the Center via email at


Press Contact:

Marie Li
Deloitte Singapore
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Carie-Anne Bak
Deloitte Singapore
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© 2020 Deloitte Southeast Asia Ltd

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