Roadmap to an ASEAN Economic Community

Roadmap to an ASEAN Economic Community

Roadmap to an ASEAN Economic Community

Roadmap to an ASEAN Economic Community

Synopsis

At the Ninth ASEAN Summit in Bali on 7 October 2003, the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations agreed to establish an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2020. It is envisaged that the AEC would be a single market and production base, with a free flow of goods and services, investments, capital and skilled labour.

An integrated ASEAN with a sizeable market of over 500 million people could become an alternative to China as a regional production base for MNCs.

Although there are roadmaps for the fast-track integration of eleven priority sectors, an overall longer-term roadmap needs to be formulated to realize the AEC. This book addresses the main issues.

Excerpt

At the 2003 asean Summit in Bali, the asean leaders agreed to establish an asean Economic Community (AEC) by 2020. the idea of an aec was first proposed by Singapore’s Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong a year earlier at the 2002 asean Summit. As with any other idea, its acceptability depends on how each asean member assesses the benefits and costs, or the gains and pains, of a much deeper regional economic integration. the essence of the idea is about deepening asean economic integration. in that sense it can be seen as a logical extension of the regional economic integration project that asean has embarked upon with the historic decision in 1992 to form an asean Free Trade Area (AFTA). However, the idea of establishing an aec by 2020 also requires the drafting and crafting of an overall economic blueprint. the end goal will definitely be much broader and deeper than the removal of barriers to trade and investment through the afta and the asean Investment Area (AIA) projects. and this end goal must be clearly spelled out. the process to achieving it will need to be clearly defined as well. in this sense, asean may see a break with the past in terms of how it manages the process of regional economic integration.

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