SOUTHEAST ASIA - As a sign that South East Asia is moving closer towards a single market, similar to the European Community, the ten Asian countries that make up the Association Of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are to implement a common step forward to the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.
Originally proposed in 2003 by the leaders of the ten ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, VietNam, Philippines and Brunei) the AEC envisages the Southeast Asian region as a:
- A single market and production base
- A highly competitive economic region
- A region of equitable economic development
- A region fully integrated into the global economy.
According to the ASEAN Secretariat: “The establishment of ASEAN as a single market and production base will make ASEAN more dynamic and competitive with new mechanisms and measures to strengthen the implementation of its existing economic initiatives, accelerating regional integration in priority sectors, facilitating movement of business persons, skilled labour and talent.”
As a single market and production base comprises five core elements.....