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Moving towards an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)

Launched as a political bloc and security pact in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, ASEAN has evolved to embrace an ambitious economic agenda. Its latest project is to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 31 December 2015.

Boris Sullivan

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Launched as a political bloc and security pact in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, ASEAN has evolved to embrace an ambitious economic agenda. Its latest project is to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 31 December 2015.

But is this likely? The blueprint for achieving the goal envisages the AEC standing on four pillars and meeting the deadline depends on progress on each of them. There have been a number of noteworthy achievements on the first pillar of realising a single market and production base.

The greatest success has been in tariff reduction. Following the implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Area, common effective preferential tariff rates between the ASEAN-6 (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand) fell to virtually zero.

As a result, more than 70 per cent of intra-ASEAN trade incurs no tariff and less than 5 per cent is subject to tariffs above 10 per cent. With tariff rates largely irrelevant, leaders need to prioritise eliminating non-tariff barriers

Author: Jayant Menon, Asian Development Bank

Original post:
Moving too slowly towards an ASEAN Economic Community

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Asean

ASEAN, Korea webinar to showcase youth perspectives on digital partnership

Asean News

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ASEAN, Korea webinar to showcase youth perspectives on digital partnership

SEOUL, 25 JANUARY 2021 – The ASEAN-Korea Youth Academic Webinar, held by the ASEAN-Korea Centre, is set to take place on 27 January at 2PM (KST).

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Asean

The Latest on Covid-19 in Southeast Asia

Thailand has largely avoided widespread community transmission of Covid-19, but the kingdom is not faring well on the economic front, with a projected contraction of 7.1 percent this year.

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Coronavirus Asia

As a region, Southeast Asia has fared relatively well in keeping coronavirus cases low, with the notable exceptions of the Philippines and Indonesia.

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Laos

China’s debt-trap diplomacy: Laos’ credit rating downgraded to CCC

Laos’ debt challenge is deeply concerning, with some media commentators suggesting the country is falling into a debt trap as a result of Chinese infrastructure investments connected to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI)

Boris Sullivan

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On 23 September, the Fitch Ratings agency downgraded Laos’ credit rating to CCC — the second downgrade in 2020, having dropped to B- in May.

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