Previous Destinations

Our previous Destinations

Explore the destinations we visited this year

What is ASEAN?

ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations and consists of ten member states, including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The aim of its creation in 1967 was to improve economic, sociocultural and political cooperation and to balance political conflicts between these countries.

Find out more about ASEAN in the following short video.

Each year we aim to visit interesting cities that give an understanding of the culture and business in the ASEAN countries. In this year’s edition of exploreASEAN, we aim to focus on renewable energy and automation. Read more about our theme here.

With last year’s theme, “Shaping the future with renewable energy and automation”, we evaluated three countries to give us the most insight into the topic.

The journey of last year’s exploreASEAN edition lead us to two founder nations of ASEAN – Singapore and Malaysia– and to Vietnam, which joined ASEAN in 1995. 


Singapore is a small nation but one of the most developed economies globally. Many international headquarters are settled to manage their businesses in ASEAN for the country’s advantage in strategic policies and highly developed R&D facilities. The most promising renewable energy source in Singapore is solar energy, which is being distributed proactively by the Energy Market Authority (EMA).

Emerging businesses are operating in technology-driven industries. Compared to all the ASEAN countries, Singapore has, therefore, the best foundation for future innovations in automation, providing a significant role for ASEAN and its member states.


Malaysia is a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country where English is the second language. With a newly industrialized market economy, Malaysia is very attractive for businesses entering the ASEAN market.

The companies in the country have great potential to reduce repetitive tasks for employees and create more valuable jobs by implementing automation technologies. Malaysia itself increased their 2023 budget to expand 5G coverage expecting to speed up data transmission to improve automation.

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To reduce its carbon intensity, Malaysia’s sustainability energy development authority (SEDA) has brought the Malaysia Renewable Energy Roadmap (MyRER) to life. MyRER is set to work towards the government’s goal to reach 31% of renewable energy share in the installed capacity mix by 2025. Especially since the country is blessed with rich renewable energy sources such as solar energy or hydropower.


Vietnam is a very favourable destination for tourists, which is part of the reason why the country is attractive for foreign direct investments. Vietnam’s membership in ASEAN helps its economy to expand globally. The fourth largest city in ASEAN – Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, is one of ASEAN’s most important economic cities.

Hydropower is a reliable renewable energy source in Vietnam. Due to saturation, the share of Hydropower in the country’s power mix has been shrinking. Following the global trend of developing renewable energy, Vietnam has revised its laws and regulations to ease renewable energy use. With the increasing energy demand, Vietnam needs to find a more robust and efficient solution to distribute renewable energy where automation plays a vital role.

Ho Chi Minh City has significant growth potential in automation. Automation has provided various industries, such as food processing, with higher growth rates than usual. The city itself focuses on automation by supporting universities and training departments of mechanical engineering financially and technically to boost the implementation of automation and develop a skilled workforce for the future.