AEC 2025 Blueprint: Stumbling Blocks Towards the Creation of AEC
The creation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is one of ASEAN’s efforts to integrate into the global economy. Many efforts have been made to accomplish this however these efforts are met with multiple stumbling blocks exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the IDEAS’ ASEAN Prosperity Initiative Project 2022 (API 2022), IDEAS Malaysia has completed several stakeholder engagements in the Southeast Asian region which includes Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines to gather data and information from regional experts on the progress of the AEC Blueprint 2025. Through these stakeholder engagements, we have identified several issues related to financing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), connectivity, access to education, food security and disruptions of supply value chains, among others. It was noted that while progress has been made on trade-related issues such as through ratification of free trade agreements in the region, issues related to global value chains remain unresolved due to scarcity of containers, and the war in Ukraine among other factors.
To date, the ASEAN Secretariat released a mid-term review of the AEC Blueprint 2025 which serves as a milestone to evaluate the progress of ASEAN economic integration efforts. The mid-term review reveals multiple social and economic challenges introduced by COVID-19. It was highlighted that among the impacts of COVID-19 on ASEAN are the contraction of GDP by 3.3% in 2020, a decrease of international visitor arrivals by 81.8%, a decrease of total trade by 7.4%, and a decrease in FDI inflows by 33.2% in the year 2020 from the year 2019. This has severely affected the business environment in ASEAN. From the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises’ (MSMEs’) point of view, financial stability and high regulatory cost posed as main challenges for them to be able to tap into the vast opportunities that the ASEAN growing market has to offer. As members of the ASEAN community, we need to explore the solution to such issues.
Through the IDEAS’ ASEAN Prosperity Initiative, this webinar aims to facilitate a conversation with local and international experts to understand their views on the ASEAN Economic Community and its challenges in the next few years to come as we operate in an ever-changing and uncertain global economy. Asking the questions of – what are the main stumbling blocks towards the creation of the AEC, what are the solutions to such issues and what can be done to achieve the AEC 2025 goals in the medium to long term given the current global environment? The experts in this webinar will delve into the challenges faced and propose possible solutions moving forward in order to foster the development and creation of AEC as envisioned.
Download Tentative Programme as per 27 September 2022 Here