The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI, Region XII) conducts series of information dissemination caravan in SOCCSKSARGEN area for the preparation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Integration in 2015. As part of the campaign, DTI Sarangani conducted forum about it last July 16, 2014 at Sydney Hotel, General Santos City. Various stakeholders from Sarangani Province attended the forum to know what this ASEAN integration is all about.
In the first presentation, Mr. Senen Briones, DTI (Main Office) Export Marketing Bureau talks about the Overview on the ASEAN Economic Community and the Philippine Free Trade Agreement. In the second presentation, Mr. Albin Ganchero (also from the DTI Export Marketing Bureau) shares about Trade in Goods. While Mr. Leonard Flores, Chief Trade & Industry Development Specialist Industry Development Division (DTI Region XII) shares about services of DTI and its role in helping Small-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) especially in the time of ASEAN integration in 2015. Reactors from different sectors are also invited to give their comments and recommendations about it. Mr. Jose Lorde Villamor represents the academe; Mr. Edmundo Y. Cejar from the business sector; and Mr. Fred Basino from the IP Group/Professionals.
see the PPT presentation here
The ASEAN Community
“The Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) is envisioned as ‘a concert of Southeast Asian nations, outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.’ It is composed of ten Southeast Asian nations. The five founding members, which established ASEAN in 1967, were Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand; Brunei Darussalam (joined in 1984), Vietnam (1995), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Myanmar (both joined in 1997) and Cambodia (joined in 1999).”
“ASEAN is a region of significant economic and strategic importance, located in the heart of Asia and centered on important trading routes between Europe and Asia and the Pacific. It is also a region characterized by a wide diversity of land, people, political systems and languages – as well as divergences in terms of economic activity and stages of development.”
An ASEAN community is bonded by the three pillars in reference to the Bali Concord II. These three pillars are – ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
“The objective of the AEC is to create a ‘single market and production base’ in Southeast Asia where there is ‘free flow of goods, services, investments, capital, and skilled labor’. In other words, it aims to make ASEAN a single market.”
Advantages & Disadvantages of ASEAN Economic Integration
As cited, these are the key advantages of ASEAN Integrated Community
- The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) – free flow of goods in ASEAN community
- Comprehensive Investment Area - The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Area (ACIA) will encourage the free flow of investment within ASEAN.
- Trade in Services - ASEAN members are negotiating intra-regional services liberalization in several sectors, including air transport, business services, construction, financial services, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism.
- More jobs and opportunities – e.g. In terms of labor force in the Philippines, it has “competitive labor cost” and “quality skilled workers”
As cited, these are the key disadvantages/problems of ASEAN Integrated Community
- Western countries have criticized ASEAN for being too "soft" in its approach to promoting human rights and democracy in the junta-led Myanmar.
- “The AEC development has been criticized for being ‘too slow’ and some observers have said that the issues that have been delayed were those of importance and could make or break the success of the integration. Some specialists also commented about the lack of leadership on this issue - the role of ASEAN chairmanship is a rotating position and a series of officials from the poorer, less developed ASEAN countries will be the chair of ASEAN for the next few years which means that leadership will be inexperienced and possibly be less interested in pushing ahead quickly with integration on all fronts.”
- “Some observers note that the less experienced officials from poorer and less developed ASEAN countries set to follow them will not have the same leadership skills, experience or knowledge and that this will tell on future progress.”
- Influx of cheap foreign goods to the local market
- Intense competition among the ASEAN
- Some social issues will arise – e.g. effects of migration of workers
- Lack of protection of SMEs
- Some of ASEAN countries is not ready of AEC – e.g. Cambodia
- Poor governance and weak institutions in some ASEAN countries
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.
Department of Trade and Industry – www.dti.gov.ph
James Clifford T. Santos. The ASEAN Economic Community: A Noble Initiative That Will Benefit the Philippines- http://thecatholiceconomistphilippines.wordpress.com/2013/06/21/the-asean-economic-community-a-noble-initiative-that-will-benefit-the-philippines/
Christopher W. Runckel. Asia Opportunities: Asean Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 - http://www.business-in-asia.com/asia/asean_economic_community.html
What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of ASEAN?