Reporter: Miro Lu | November 11, 2015
One of the highlights of this year’s ASEAN meeting is the shaping of the ASEAN economic community. It’s only weeks away from its inauguration, but that doesn’t mean a single economic block will be formed any time soon. The AEC is an ambitious goal that will take years to achieve.
While the AEC has made headway in certain areas, many have noted that the road towards a fully integrated Asean is still mired in challenges.
“Integration will be very very challenging because economies are so different, I mean Laos and Singapore, Indonesia and Singapore, it’s so different, it will take time to establish this kind of freedom. Freedom of investment, freedom of services, freedom of movements of goods, to get rid of the non-tariff barriers, this is a lot of work and actually requires much more than the secretariat of ASEAN currently has 200 people in Jakarta,” Hans Vriens, managing partner of Vriens & Partners, said.
Asean as a single economy is forecast to become the fourth largest in the world by 2030. The AEC 2015 is of course a milestone for the region, but to achieve its ambitious goals it will take years to come.
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