ASEAN’s Innovation Dilemma: Economic Growth Does Not Equal Job Creation

by Professor Dr Siri Roland Xavier

Graduate School of Business, Universiti Tun Abdul Razak


“There are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil” said Alfred North Whiteheadan, an English mathematician and philosopher. And rightly so. Today we often hear that innovation is required for job creation. That we must teach graduates to be industry ready. Or that good leadership comes from the top. Are these truths or half-truths?

ASEAN has faced and continues to face many challenges ranging from the global economic crisis in 2008, Covid since 2018, to the political challenges within each nation. Despite this the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has projected 4.5% in 2022, before settling back to 3.2% in 2023, close to the rates seen prior to the pandemic.

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