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Since its founding in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been an increasingly large part of the life of Southeast Asia, although most people in the region know very little about it. ASEAN has helped bring peace and stability to the region. It has successfully engaged the world’s major powers, in East Asia and beyond. ASEAN has taken steps to integrate the regional economy as an important means of cooperatively improving the region’s competitiveness, attracting investments, generating jobs, raising incomes, and lowering costs and prices. ASEAN has also formed networks for dealing with regional problems like communicable diseases, environmental degradation, and transnational crime. An essential part of the Southeast Asia Background Series, this book seeks to shed some light on what ASEAN is all about.
ICT, Governance and Community in Southeast Asia
This study argues that the extensive use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would:((1) enhance policy coordination within the intergovernmental organization; (2) promote inclusive regionalism by providing new avenues for broaderstakeholder participation in regional affairs; (3) help develop a stronger regional identity, particularly among the young; and (4) improve "network management" or coordination of the collaborativeactivities of the member states.But this study is not merely about making ASEAN more effective. Bylooking at how ICT - with its ability to overcome distance and time -could be a tool for enabling effective non-state actors in regional rulemaking, it also contributes to the literature on Global eGovernance.
Challenges and Initiatives
As the regional financial and economic crisis has bottomed out and the ASEAN countries are on the recovery path, this volume seeks to carry out a post-mortem on the crisis to evaluate the sustainability of the recovery and the long-term direction of the ASEAN economies. It also examines the challenges and competitiveness of these economies which have become significant issues in the post-recovery process. Since it is not sufficient to address the economic and financial aspects, the volume also looks at the human and social dimensions, such as food security, poverty, and cross-border pollution. Furthermore, in the wake of the regional crisis, ASEAN has been criticized as being ineffective. This has prompted a re-examination of the relevance of the regional grouping in its present form, evaluating ASEAN's performance, challenges and opportunities and assessing whether there is a need for change.
This book, a project of the ASEAN-China Study Programme of ISEAS, is designed to deal with the rapidly expanding economic relations between ASEAN and China in recent years. The fifteen chapters discuss in considerable detail these relations in terms of many important topics such as trade, the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), investments, services trade, energy cooperation, cooperation in developing the Mekong Sub-region, China’s aid to Southeast Asian countries, developing stronger business networks, and the political dimensions of China’s economic relations with ASEAN. The economic challenges, competition, and opportunities in the various sectors of the two economies are examined in the context of the dynamic development of China, and the inevitable globalization taking place nowadays. The book, with contributions from experts in the various topics covered, will be invaluable to businessmen, analysts, academics, students, and policy-makers.
Realities and Prospects
The past decade has witnessed rapid development in ASEAN-China relations. Both sides now have more in common than before, though differences still exist. ASEAN and China have established a promising strategic partnership ensuring peace, stability, co-operation as well as prosperity for the region. New challenges will, however, continue to emerge to test the resolve of the partnership. This book examines some of the areas of convergence and divergence and the possible trajectories of the development of ASEAN-China relations.
This book is written in an easily understood style. It explains the background of the orgin of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) of which there are 10 member-countries. The author looks at the progress made, as well as the problems that the association faces.
Myths and Realities
The year 2015 has special significance for regional economic integration. The ASEAN Community, integrating the political, economic and social aspects of regional cooperation, will complete its first milestone by December 2015. Expectations of tangible benefits under an ASEAN Economic Community have attracted much attention though many of the initiatives will be realized post-2015. Following the policy of open regionalism, ASEAN has also signed free trade agreements with Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan and South Korea. It has launched negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement in 2013, with expected breakthrough by end-2015. The Southeast Asian economies are also involved in two other regional initiatives. First is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), initiated by the United States. As part of the U.S. "pivot to Asia", the TPP is envisioned as a "comprehensive and high-quality" agreement and has concluded its negotiation in October 2015. Second, the discussions on regional connectivity have broadened; China has emerged as a recent lead proponent with its proposals for "One Belt, One Road" and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. All these together have implications not only for individual Southeast Asian countries but also for regional trading architecture. To aid in understanding the beginnings, development, and potential of these grand plans, this collection of 22 essays offers a rich analysis of ASEAN's own economic integration and other related initiatives proliferating in the broader Asia-Pacific region.
Performance and Perception
During the 13th ASEAN Summit in November 2007, ASEAN Leaders endorsed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint, which laid the foundation of creating a “single market and production base” among the ten Southeast Asian economies. Soon after that, ASEAN faced great uncertainties in the light of the 2008 global financial crisis and continues to remain cautious in the face of the ongoing global economic weakness. Despite this, the region is forging ahead with its commitment to carry out economic liberalization and cooperation as stipulated in the AEC Blueprint. The official AEC scorecard, published in March 2012, stated that ASEAN had achieved 68.2 per cent of its targets for the 2008–11 period. The official AEC scorecard is expected to track the implementation of measures and the achievement of milestones committed in the AEC Strategic Schedule. However, the scorecard, in its current form, is too brief and general to be useful for the ASEAN citizens. This book attempts to fill this gap and evaluates the current status of and the progress towards the milestones of the AEC Blueprint. The overall message of the book is that even though ASEAN may miss some of its integration goals by 31 December 2015, it will certainly deliver some of the key initiatives — tariff elimination, establishing the ASEAN Single Window, laying the foundation of the regional investment initiative, advancing tourism services, moving ahead with ASEAN connectivity and the realization of ASEAN +1 free trade agreements. AEC’s goal of forming an equitable and competitive regional economy will continue to be a work in progress. AEC 2015 is going to be a historic milestone that will raise ASEAN’s profile and will help the region to maintain its centrality in the international community.
Impacts & Implications
During the past decade, ASEAN has shifted its focus from political and military security to economic co-operation and development. Although this change may ease the integration of the four mainland Southeast Asian nations -- Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia – into ASEAN, there remain significant challenges to forge a workable and united ten-member ASEAN. This book examines many of the economic, political, and institutional issues confronting the enlarged regional grouping. The volume is organized into three sections based on the perspectives of the region, subregion, and the newer members. It not only addresses ASEAN's enlargement but also contributes to the debate on ASEAN's shifting role in the twenty-first century.
Towards Closer Engagement in a New Asia
India's emergence of a great power has sensitized its regional neighbours to its growing role as a key security actor in an increasingly interdependent world. Both Australia and ASEAN now view India as a major player in the formulation and application of their own broad security agendas. This emerging trilateral compendium is particularly evident in such policy areas as maritime security, climate change, energy security, law enforcement, "good governance" and the politics of security institutions or "architectures". This book represents one of the first systematic efforts to consolidate these diverse but important concerns into an overarching framework for ascertaining and cross-comparing how these three entities are approaching these policy challenges, individually and collectively. It argues that the dynamics underlying their intensifying security relations are sufficiently important to conceptualize them as a distinct analytical framework that needs to be understood in the larger context of Asia-Pacific security politics.