ASEAN Economic Community: Potential, reality, and the role for business

Come 31st December 2015, the leaders of the 10 ASEAN member states intend to declare victory: the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will have been successfully established – at least that is what they will claim publicly. As validation, they will refer to the “Scorecard”, a set of measures designed to track the progress made by member states in making AEC a reality. In reality the AEC will still be a work in progress.

That said, it would be a mistake to take lightly the importance of the AEC. ASEAN member states have and will continue to make headway, with important and far-reaching implications for business. The ASEAN region has immense potential that remains untapped, and the AEC outlines a long list of important goals for ASEAN’s members to strive towards. The role of business here cannot be understated; the private sector is a tremendous source of global expertise, experience, and resources that be harnessed to help make the AEC a reality.

 The AEC is an ambitious project, promising the free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour and freer movement of capital across ten member states for the 600 million people in Southeast Asia. Now more than ever, the private sector needs to take a greater interest and play a larger role in shaping ASEAN and the AEC in ways that will benefit the people of Southeast Asia.

 This 36 page long detailed report provides an overview of the potential that AEC brings to the region, the reality on the ground, and the role that business can play in helping to make that potential a reality.

For enquiries or should you wish to purchase this report, please drop us an email at enquiry@vrienspartners.com to indicate your interest or to discuss further.



Vriens & Partners Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index 2014

Click here to download the full Index in PDF

In this year’s Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index, Indonesia tumbled to fifteenth due to the enactment of several protectionist regulations. In contrast, improvements in rule of law, openness to international trade & business, and political stability boosted Vietnam to thirteenth. Singapore retained the top spot while New Zealand unseated Hong Kong for second place. As a group, the Southeast Asian economies are attracting record levels of FDI as the region increasingly opens to foreign investment ahead of the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

Overall, the relative consistency in the rankings from 2013 to 2014 reveals that high profile political events have not significantly altered the climate for foreign investment in the short term. Gains in openness to international trade & business, fiscal & monetary administration, and rule of law have largely offset losses in political stability in some markets. These gains in openness are largely driven by greater economic integration through participation in bilateral and multilateral trade and investment agreements.

index 2014 ranking

The Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index is the only publication that examines the relationship between political and economic governance and foreign direct investment across the region. The Index evaluates and ranks 20 Asia Pacific countries according to six criteria: Rule of Law, Openness to International Trade & Business, Taxation, Corruption, Political Stability, and Fiscal & Monetary Administration.

As investor interest in the Asia Pacific soars, the Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index serves as a reference to help readers understand and evaluate the region’s political and economic dynamics. Aside from aiding international investors in their decision making, the data from this index can help policymakers identify areas for improvement to increase the competiveness of their countries and attract higher quality foreign investment to catalyse development and transform their economies.



New Myanmar

NM

—————————————————————————————————–

  • A bi-weekly digest analyzing key developments in Myanmar’s transition
  • Designed for busy decision-makers
  • Community: Subscribers are invited to join a monthly breakfast discussion in Yangon. Occasional roundtables will also be held for subscribers in Singapore and Bangkok

——————————————————————————————————

 New Myanmar is a bi-weekly report providing coverage and in-depth analysis of developments in Myanmar’s transition from military rule and international isolation. The report, delivered to your inbox on Friday afternoons, helps readers better understand the complex process affecting the country’s politics, business and investment climates, its relations with its neighbors and the West, efforts to resolve longstanding ethnic conflicts, and its human rights challenges.

New Myanmar is prepared by our country experts at the Myanmar office of Vriens & Partners, a Singapore-based corporate advisory firm specializing in political risk analysis, government affairs and public policy in Southeast Asia.

The report, now in its fourth year, is based on daily monitoring of a wide range of domestic media reports supplemented and deepened by the team’s exchanges with government and business leaders in Yangon, Naypyitaw, and the region.

Subscribers are invited to participate in a monthly breakfast meeting in Yangon with our Myanmar team, including managing director Nyantha Maw Lin and other political and business analysts. From time to time, we will also schedule roundtable meetings for subscribers in Singapore and Bangkok. Subscribers will be informed each month of the date and time. Subscribers may share New Myanmar with up to 10 members of their team.

We are confident that you will find New Myanmar a valuable addition to your reading list and are pleased to offer a free trial. At your request, we will send you the current issue and one back issue. Please send us an email at newmyanmar@vrienspartners.com to start your free trial or to make any other inquiries.

 

The bi-weekly report, plus the monthly breakfast roundtables, is available at a cost of US$3,000 a year. Payments may be made by bank transfer or cheque to our Singapore office. All fees will be net of bank charges and taxes.

Payment Information

All fees exclude relevant taxes. Vriens & Partners is a GST-registered company in Singapore. All bank charges shall be borne entirely by client; Vriens & Partners shall receive the net amount of the invoice value. Our New Myanmar team will send you a confirmation email once payment has been received. We will issue an invoice upon confirmation of order.

  1. Bank Transfer

Account Name:         Vriens & Partners Pte Ltd

Account Number:     341-900-307-5        (USD)

Bank Name:               United Overseas Bank Ltd

SWIFT Code:           UOVBSGSG

Bank Address:           UOB Holland Road

211 Holland Avenue #01-12

Holland Rd Shopping Centre

Singapore 278967

  1. Cheque

Please make your cheque payable to Vriens & Partners Pte Ltd and mail it to the following address:

Vriens & Partners Pte Ltd

29B Teo Hong Road

Singapore 088335

(Attn: Finance Officer, New Myanmar)

 



Vriens & Partners Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index 2013

Click here to download the full Index in PDF

The most notable changes in this year’s Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index are the growing attractiveness of Southeast Asia’s economies in relation to declining perceptions of the investment climate in China and India.  China’s market access limitations, discriminatory treatment against foreign enterprises, sharply rising costs and recent labor disputes, and India’s lack of political will to reform and open up the economy, along with corruption and excessive red tape are increasingly frustrating international companies.

Against the backdrop of China and India’s political stagnation and economic slowdown, Southeast Asia is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for foreign investment.  Despite remaining challenges, Southeast Asia’s rapidly expanding middle class, investments in infrastructure and human capacity, and increasing public pressure for government accountability and transparency are driving improvements in the region’s attractiveness to foreign investors.  Preparations for the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 and the Trans Pacific Partnership will require further liberalization and economic integration that are likely to sustain the Southeast Asian economies’ rise in the index.

The third Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index by Vriens & Partners is the only publication that examines the relationship between political and economic governance and foreign direct investment across the region. For this year’s results, V&P surveyed more than 200 corporate leaders and policy experts and conducted dozens of face to face interviews with business executives.

The Index evaluates and ranks 20 Asia Pacific countries according to six criteria: Rule of Law, Openness to International Trade & Business, Taxation, Corruption, Political Stability, and Fiscal & Monetary Administration.

The rankings of Asia Pacific Foreign Investment Climate Index are calculated according to assessments from Vriens & Partners extensive on-the-ground network of experts, surveys of executives from leading multinational firms, and data from well-known third-party reports.  As investor interest in the Asia Pacific soars, the Asia Pacific Investment Climate Index serves as a reference to help direct investors understand and evaluate the complexity of the region’s political and economic dynamics.  The index can help policymakers identify areas for improvement to increase the competiveness of their countries and attract higher quality foreign investment to catalyse development and transform their economies.