Christopher Marks, Managing Director, Head of Emerging Markets Corporate Banking Division for EMEA, MUFG Bank
Christopher Marks, Managing Director, Head of Emerging Markets Corporate Banking Division for EMEA, MUFG Bank - Japan's largest bank and one of the world's largest, with offices throughout Japan and in 40 other countries - is attending the 27th ongoing World Economic Forum on ASEAN (WEF ASEAN) in Hanoi. He grants an interview with the Vietnam News Agency on the sideline of the forum.
The following is the full text of the interview.
Reporter: How will Vietnam take the advantages of the fourth industrial revolution as compared to other emerging nations worldwide?
Christopher Marks: Vietnam arrives at the forth revolution with less institutional constraint, young population, particularly with a very strong and looking-forward leadership in terms of government. In many ways, Vietnam has the flexibility that some new economies don’t have to adapt to the fourth revolution. Things can be built up from here, in a way in which other economies with different kinds of resources may not have that flexibility.
In 10 years, we don’t really know what the composition of Vietnam GDP will be, but it will be more diversified than some of neighbouring nations which are relying on older industries.
Reporter: What are the advantages that help ASEAN nations unlock the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
Christopher Marks: Fundamentally, the great advantage ASEAN region compare to other part of the world is of course the relatively huge population of around 650 million. The region’s relatively young population means so many parts of population know what telephones and internet are. They don’t need to even adapt. All of you younger than I am have grown up with technologies, therefore the adaptation and penetration rate will be very high.
We have to mention that young people are also vulnerable to the impact of internet and technologies. I believe social media, social activities on the internet have both positive and challenging aspects. But what is true is that young people grow up with the capacity to learn very quickly and adapt even better in social way.
Taking an example of gaming. Think what the game contains: voice technology, a lot of visual technologies, a lot of automatic control built in. So, for part of young people who can understand that they can get excited about magical components of those games and hopefully they will lead them to more productive application and adaption.
Secondly, we can say that ASEAN region sits in the part of the world that continue to grow very fast. So there are great opportunities for application and adaption of new technology in different ways. But it has to be application and adaption in section and part of the economy relevant for each of the country in region.
Reporter: In your view, how will ASEAN evolve in the future with the advantages it takes from the fourth industrial revolution?
Christopher Marks: Look at the success place like Singapore. It has been able to evolve its focus over times, originally as a manufacturing centre, now much higher value as a service centre.
It is true with the rest of ASEAN region. Some parts of the region are not very much advanced today. They can pick and choose education and dedication to where some of these technologies can be applied to sectors that suit their population and the composition of their economies.
For example, in agriculture, a lot of technologies can be indeed contained in telephone, to improve the yield of farming. Farmers can have better access to different markets. They can educate themselves.
Social sectors like healthcare, of course, can also evolve into powerful areas. Medical staff has the power contained in telephones and other applications. This is a great opportunity set, even countries with different requirements and objectives can take full advantages.
Reporter: The fourth industrial revolution has been making drastic changes in all economic aspects. How does the financial and banking sector benefit from technologies?
Christopher Marks: From finance point of view, not only from commercial and private banking point of view, even public finance, one of the greatest innovations is not just in terms of e-commerce but the availability and adaptation of internet in banking.
Now you can bank on telephone as you know. As smartphone become more and more available and less expensive. Both private banking and government banking can of course gain a lot of new clients. More savings can be redirected into the economy in terms of investment.
You don’t need some of the old fashioned system that we used to enjoy ten years ago. All you need is a telephone. In the point of purchase, the government will capture taxes, individuals receive their goods, merchants receive their money. So in the fourth industrial revolution, if those who are ready for it will be happy.