What an integrated ASEAN Economic Community will mean for service exporters

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

By Cassandra Oaten

Service exporters will be able to look forward to facing common regulatory requirements when exporting to one or several of the ten nations of ASEAN. The ASEAN block was create with a goal to achieve full integration via an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). This will include an amalgamation of custom regulations, free movement of goods, services and investment, student and skilled labour flows. It will encompass many other policy collaborations including a single production base, one currency and free glow of capital though a single market. This level of cooperation is very exciting for opportunistic business’ looking to trade in the ASEAN region; a region that is forecasted to achieve very large growth in the future.

A report on ASEAN by Accenture, which can be accessed following the links here, as well as many other reports on this region detail the economic opportunities this may bring in 2020. The region is predicted to collectively be among the world’s largest economies with the benefits of a huge population and the predominance of a highly educated, middle class demographic below the age of 30.

The ASEAN nations incorporate Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam. In 2008 the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint was published, its progress in 2011 can be accessed here. Although an exciting plan; the target timeframes of this Blueprint are drawing nearer as huge changes are proposed with target deadlines falling on December 31 2015, a date that by most accounts will not be reached. Therefore some analysts have suggested that this date be considered only a milestone for progress towards regional economic integration in the ASEAN region.