Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusion

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusion

Article excerpt

In 2001, the global economic slowdown and the 11 September attacks have left many ASEAN economies vulnerable to an external environment that is both unfavourable and highly uncertain. Perhaps now is an appropriate time for the region to rethink its hitherto successful economic development model (which basically depends on exports and FDI). A two-pronged approach could be considered whereby domestic industries and indigenous technologies are developed while maintaining an open door policy towards trade and investment. At the same time, a blueprint will need to be drawn up for ASEAN to make the transition from a production-based economy to a knowledge-based one (that is, an economy that uses knowledge as the main driver of economic growth).

Despite the concerns over China's growing economic might, the economic relationship between China and Southeast Asia may not be a "zero-sum game". It is critical for ASEAN governments to strategically reposition themselves by focusing on the region's comparative advantage vis-á-vis China and developing niche industries which can leverage on China's expanding economy. Regional co-operation in the form of ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan, and Korea) and the proposed ASEAN-China FTA and Japan-ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership14 are positive steps. …

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