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2011 online Survey on ASEAN Competitiveness

The 2011 Survey continues to collate the views of businesses based in ASEAN on the competitiveness of the ASEAN region for trade and investments and the importance of ASEAN policy measures to deepen economic integration on business operations.

Boris Sullivan

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The 2011 Survey continues to collate the views of businesses based in ASEAN on the competitiveness of the ASEAN region for trade and investments and the importance of ASEAN policy measures to deepen economic integration on business operations.

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As with the 2010 survey, where survey results and policy recommendations were presented to ASEAN Leaders in October 2010 in Hanoi and ASEAN Economic Ministers in Manado in August 2011, findings and policy recommendations from the 2011 Survey are expected to be presented to ASEAN leaders, ministers and officials.

The 2011 Survey is available online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/aseansurvey2011

Glossary of Terms related to ASEAN policy initiatives

AEC:  ASEAN  Economic  Community  –  ASEAN’s  goal  to  establish an  AEC  by 2015,  which will  be characterized  by  a  single  market  and  production base  with  free movement  of  goods,  services, investment, skilled labour and freer flow of capital.

AEC Blueprint (Q13): A plan of action with clear timelines and targets for ASEAN members countries to implementation various measures from 2008 onwards to establish an AEC by 2015.

ASEAN-plus Free Trade/Economic Partnership Agreements (Q12 & Q14): This refers to the free trade agreements or comprehensive economic partnership agreements signed between ASEAN and its dialogue partners. To-date, ASEAN has concluded agreements with Australia-New Zealand, China, India, Japan and South Korea.

Terms used in Question 13:

Eliminate tariffs: remove import duties eventually on all products with substantial ASEAN value- added and traded among ASEAN countries, with some exceptions.

Enhance transparency of non-tariff barriers: non-tariff barriers (NTBs) include e.g. import licensing requirements and technical regulations. Transparency is enhanced by ASEAN member countries abiding with the procedures to submit notifications of NTBs and to set up an effective surveillance mechanism

Reform and enhance Rules of Origin: “Rules of Origin” are the criteria used to define where a product was made. Simplification of the operational certification procedures include implementing self-certification by exporters that products satisfy the Rules of Origin.

Simplify,   harmonize   &   standardize   customs   procedures:   Measures   will   include   adopting international standards  and  best  practices to  secure  a  uniform system of  tariff  classification, a synchronized system of value assessment for customs purposes and a harmonized system of origin determination,  and  the  application  of  information  and  communication  technology  (ICT)  for digitalized processing and information exchange. Such measures will culminate in the creation of the ASEAN Single Window, which is a single point of entry for traders to submit data and information for customs clearance.

Harmonize standards,  technical  regulations  and conformity  assessment  procedures:  align with international practices where applicable, with greater transparency, improved quality of conformity assessment and active participation of the private sector.

Increase  foreign  equity  participation  in  services  sectors:  allow  foreign  equity  participation  by ASEAN-owned or qualified ASEAN-based companies of not less than 70 percent eventually for all services sectors.

Develop  &  implement  mutual  recognition  of  professional  qualifications:  identify,  develop and implement mutual recognition arrangements for professional services (e.g. architectural services, accountancy services, medical and dental practitioners) to facilitate greater mobility of qualified services professionals in the region.

Protect  investors  and  their  investments:  to  strengthen  provisions  on  investor-state  dispute settlement mechanism and treatment of compensation of losses resulting from strife, among others.

Establish transparent, consistent and predictable investment rules: measures include to harmonize, where   possible,   investment   policies   to   achieve   industrial   complementation   and   economic integration,  streamline  and  simplify  procedures  for  investment  applications  and  approvals  and promote dissemination of information on investment rules, policies and procedures.

Promote  joint  investment  missions  that  focus  on  regional  clusters  and  production  networks: organize  two  inbound  and  two  outbound  investment  missions  annually,  and  promote  regional clusters and production network through ASEAN industrial cooperation initiatives.

Liberalize ASEAN member countries’ investment regimes: to harmonize investment measures to facilitate the movement of investments and progressively reduce/eliminate investment restrictions and impediments to realize free and open investment regime with minimal investment restrictions.

Develop or enhance national competition policies to create a fair competition environment: to introduce competition policy in all ASEAN member countries and establish a network of competition authorities to discuss and coordinate competition policies.

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