ASEAN has become a catalyst global player, both economically and politically, due to its strategic location, abundant natural resources, quality human recourses and growing economies. This Policy Brief looks into the current global profile of ASEAN and brings out policy recommendations that help ASEAN in finding its appropriate role in the global politics and economy, and achieving its goal of becoming one community by 2015.
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was established in 2007, aiming to transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.
ASEAN is seen as a non-threatening bloc by most major trading partners who wish to pursue closer economic cooperation. The focus on strengthening these relationships, shifted towards market access, trade, investment, tourism, services, science and technology, human resource development and technology transfer. Therefore, it is in an enviable position to influence the global political and strategic scenario.
The authors conclude that ASEAN will become significantly more important over time and will achieve a greater regional cooperation within Asia and rest of the world as a whole. In other words, ASEAN will play a central role in shaping how the regional security architecture evolves to maintain peace, stability and growth. Thus, the authors recommend from both the economical and political perspective:
establishing a region-wide FTA
facilitation of trade by lowering of behind the border trade barriers and continued liberalization of services and investments
ASEAN Charter should provide a basis for a stronger ASEAN which is at the center of regional and international cooperation
encouraging the cohesiveness among ASEAN Member States and the people in ASEAN