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ASEAN move toward “the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) goal by 2015”
Chan SereiRatha
E-mail:ra.tha777@gmail.com
Mentor: Moe Thuzar
November, 2010


Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) was established on August 8th, 1967, with the
signing of the ASEAN Declaration, also known as the Bangkok Declaration, by foreign
ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
It was later expanded to include Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. In the Kuala
Lumpur Declaration of 1971, ASEAN envision the 2020 vision which objective is to realize
fully integrated of the ASEAN community – so-called ASEAN 2020. In the vision, ASEAN
commit itself to moving towards closer cohesion and economic integration, narrowing the gap in
the level of development among member countries, ensuring that the multilateral trading system
remains fair and open, and achieving global competitiveness by creating a stable, prosperous
and highly competitive ASEAN Economic Region in which there is a free flow of goods,
services and investments, a freer flow of capital, equitable economic development and reduced
poverty and socio-economic disparities.

By seeing the economic growth in the region, emerging growth from two superpower India and
China as well as with the rest of the world and stressing the importance of narrowing the
development gap have pushed the leaders of the ASEAN nations to put in place its ambitious
target of ASEAN Economic Community by moving from 2020 to 2015 at the Declaration of
ASEAN Concord II in Bali, Indonesia, on 7th October 2003. In order to realize the objective a
strategic schedule that includes key milestones for a comprehensive and deeper economic
integration has been formalized as an integral part of this ASEAN 2015 ( the Blueprint- please
see an attached schedule). The Blueprint and its strategic schedule have been consulting among
all stakeholders to ensure consistency of the above measures, programmes and milestones across
sectors and promote greater sense of ownership of the ASEAN-AEC 2015.

Opportunities and Challenges of the ASEAN-AEC 2015:

1- Challenges: The main challenges are the development gap between old and new members,
especially Cambodia, Laos, Myamar and Vietnam (CLMV). The gap can be seen for several
areas ranging from policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks that will help them to catch
up or narrowing the gap between the old and new members by strengthening their capacity and
capability to addressing the several critical issues such as:
        - reducing poverty and increasing standard of living
        - improving servile services
        - preparing to face with a global competition
- From another outlook, political will and commitment need to be existent in each member of
ASEAN. This means that the regional strategic plan should be aligned with the national strategic
plan in order to realize the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. The harmonization of living
together in one umbrella of the ASEAN is not really strong yet, some members facing a
historical barriers, tension and clashing over cultural, political, economic and territories issues.
There are also some other barriers which making the AEC 2015 become a reality. The factors
will be brought to discuss with experienced professionals in the class.
2- Opportunities: ASEAN now has 10 members with 592 million people, an area of 4.43 million
sq.km, and a combined GDP of US$1,492 billion, with a steady growth and favorable external
factors (China and India), ASEAN become a dynamic region for attracting an investment. The
Cooperation within ASEAN has steadily developed much stronger than it was originally created
(1967) and expanded into politics, economics, investment, culture, education, health care, the
environment, science, and technology. And another step which is really helpful to narrowing the
gap between old and new members so-called CLMV, very fine program “Initiative for ASEAN
Integration Program (IAI)” which given a milestone of narrowing the gap was launching at the
4th informal submit in November 2000 in Singapore and endorsed by ASEAN leaders on IAI
Work Plan on 8th ASEAN submit in November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia.
The IAI work plan focuses on seven components including infrastructure, human resource
development, information communication technology, regional economic integration, tourism,
poverty and quality of life and general coverage of projects. Furthermore ASEAN has also led
the process of fostering a network of FTA+1 with important partners in the region including
China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. The Association is an
active initiator of various economic and trade cooperation programs with major players, such as
the U.S., Canada, the EU and Russia. ASEAN has been conducting a feasibility study for the
establishment of a free trade area in East Asia, which once implemented, will become the largest
free trade area over two billion people and a GDP of ten trillion dollars. ASEAN has been active
in the implementation of various initiatives in the area of finance and banking, notably the
Agreement on the Multilaterization of the Chiang Mai Initiative and the establishment of the
Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility within the ASEAN+3 frameworks.

In conclusion, the AEC 2015 can or can not it depend heavily on the individual country’ will
contribution to the goal. Everything on the paper is really nice but to make it real in practice is
another thing and also very difficult task for each member in term of their political will and
interest. And also the incentive of the AEC 2015 should be visible to each member as we know
clearly that all of them are in the different level so that incentive should be given to the
particular needs and interest by the timeline. But more importantly, they must be responsible for
their own people and the next generation.


Reference:
   - www.aseansec.com/overview and asean2020
   - www.aseanstudiescentre.org/ asean on path to achieve AEC goal
   - ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, by ASEAN Secretariat 2008
   - Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) : narrowing the development gap, by Gary
       Krishnam , IAI Unit , ASEAN Secretariat
   - Abstract on ASEAN’s progression to common market status: pitfalls and policy
       descriptions
   - ADBI working paper series on Asian FTAs: Trends and Challenges by Masahiro Kawai
       and Ganeshan Wignaraja No 144, August 2009
   -   http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/36/2DA94F/Greater-impetus-to-establishment-of-ASEAN
       economic-community , by By Hương Giang, archived on 29/08/2010
   -    http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/36/2DA93D/ASEAN-Lecture-by-HE-Prime-
       Minister-Nguyen-Tan-Dung-On-the-occasion-of-the-43rd-Anniversary-of-ASEAN--and-
       the-15th-Anniversary-of-Viet-Nams-Membersh, archived on 29/08/2010
   -    http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/36/2DA93A/ASEAN--looking-back-on-43-years-of-
       development, archived on 29/08/2010
   -   wikipedia, the free encyclopedia website

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Abstract for aseanwant_to_achieveitsgoal_of_asean_economic_community

  • 1. ASEAN move toward “the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) goal by 2015” Chan SereiRatha E-mail:ra.tha777@gmail.com Mentor: Moe Thuzar November, 2010 Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN) was established on August 8th, 1967, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration, also known as the Bangkok Declaration, by foreign ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It was later expanded to include Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. In the Kuala Lumpur Declaration of 1971, ASEAN envision the 2020 vision which objective is to realize fully integrated of the ASEAN community – so-called ASEAN 2020. In the vision, ASEAN commit itself to moving towards closer cohesion and economic integration, narrowing the gap in the level of development among member countries, ensuring that the multilateral trading system remains fair and open, and achieving global competitiveness by creating a stable, prosperous and highly competitive ASEAN Economic Region in which there is a free flow of goods, services and investments, a freer flow of capital, equitable economic development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities. By seeing the economic growth in the region, emerging growth from two superpower India and China as well as with the rest of the world and stressing the importance of narrowing the development gap have pushed the leaders of the ASEAN nations to put in place its ambitious target of ASEAN Economic Community by moving from 2020 to 2015 at the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II in Bali, Indonesia, on 7th October 2003. In order to realize the objective a strategic schedule that includes key milestones for a comprehensive and deeper economic integration has been formalized as an integral part of this ASEAN 2015 ( the Blueprint- please see an attached schedule). The Blueprint and its strategic schedule have been consulting among all stakeholders to ensure consistency of the above measures, programmes and milestones across sectors and promote greater sense of ownership of the ASEAN-AEC 2015. Opportunities and Challenges of the ASEAN-AEC 2015: 1- Challenges: The main challenges are the development gap between old and new members, especially Cambodia, Laos, Myamar and Vietnam (CLMV). The gap can be seen for several areas ranging from policy, institutional and regulatory frameworks that will help them to catch up or narrowing the gap between the old and new members by strengthening their capacity and capability to addressing the several critical issues such as: - reducing poverty and increasing standard of living - improving servile services - preparing to face with a global competition - From another outlook, political will and commitment need to be existent in each member of ASEAN. This means that the regional strategic plan should be aligned with the national strategic plan in order to realize the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. The harmonization of living together in one umbrella of the ASEAN is not really strong yet, some members facing a historical barriers, tension and clashing over cultural, political, economic and territories issues. There are also some other barriers which making the AEC 2015 become a reality. The factors will be brought to discuss with experienced professionals in the class.
  • 2. 2- Opportunities: ASEAN now has 10 members with 592 million people, an area of 4.43 million sq.km, and a combined GDP of US$1,492 billion, with a steady growth and favorable external factors (China and India), ASEAN become a dynamic region for attracting an investment. The Cooperation within ASEAN has steadily developed much stronger than it was originally created (1967) and expanded into politics, economics, investment, culture, education, health care, the environment, science, and technology. And another step which is really helpful to narrowing the gap between old and new members so-called CLMV, very fine program “Initiative for ASEAN Integration Program (IAI)” which given a milestone of narrowing the gap was launching at the 4th informal submit in November 2000 in Singapore and endorsed by ASEAN leaders on IAI Work Plan on 8th ASEAN submit in November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Kingdom of Cambodia. The IAI work plan focuses on seven components including infrastructure, human resource development, information communication technology, regional economic integration, tourism, poverty and quality of life and general coverage of projects. Furthermore ASEAN has also led the process of fostering a network of FTA+1 with important partners in the region including China, Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. The Association is an active initiator of various economic and trade cooperation programs with major players, such as the U.S., Canada, the EU and Russia. ASEAN has been conducting a feasibility study for the establishment of a free trade area in East Asia, which once implemented, will become the largest free trade area over two billion people and a GDP of ten trillion dollars. ASEAN has been active in the implementation of various initiatives in the area of finance and banking, notably the Agreement on the Multilaterization of the Chiang Mai Initiative and the establishment of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility within the ASEAN+3 frameworks. In conclusion, the AEC 2015 can or can not it depend heavily on the individual country’ will contribution to the goal. Everything on the paper is really nice but to make it real in practice is another thing and also very difficult task for each member in term of their political will and interest. And also the incentive of the AEC 2015 should be visible to each member as we know clearly that all of them are in the different level so that incentive should be given to the particular needs and interest by the timeline. But more importantly, they must be responsible for their own people and the next generation. Reference: - www.aseansec.com/overview and asean2020 - www.aseanstudiescentre.org/ asean on path to achieve AEC goal - ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint, by ASEAN Secretariat 2008 - Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) : narrowing the development gap, by Gary Krishnam , IAI Unit , ASEAN Secretariat - Abstract on ASEAN’s progression to common market status: pitfalls and policy descriptions - ADBI working paper series on Asian FTAs: Trends and Challenges by Masahiro Kawai and Ganeshan Wignaraja No 144, August 2009 - http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/36/2DA94F/Greater-impetus-to-establishment-of-ASEAN economic-community , by By Hương Giang, archived on 29/08/2010 - http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/36/2DA93D/ASEAN-Lecture-by-HE-Prime- Minister-Nguyen-Tan-Dung-On-the-occasion-of-the-43rd-Anniversary-of-ASEAN--and- the-15th-Anniversary-of-Viet-Nams-Membersh, archived on 29/08/2010 - http://asean2010.vn/asean_en/news/36/2DA93A/ASEAN--looking-back-on-43-years-of- development, archived on 29/08/2010 - wikipedia, the free encyclopedia website