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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.
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.
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.
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.
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is the only Asia-Pacific-wide forum for consultations and dialogue on political and security issues. Although many articles and books have been published on the ARF, this is one of the few books that treat the forum comprehensively and from the standpoint of the region itself. It traces the ARF's origins, the efforts to move it from confidence building to "preventive diplomacy", and the forces that hold them back, analysing the strategic environment that both constrains the ARF and makes it essential. The book discusses the question of participation, describes the numerous cooperative activities that the participants undertake, and deals with the issue of institutionalization. Finally, it assesses the ARF as a forum and a process on its own terms. The book is written by the former ASEAN Secretary-General and former senior official who was involved in the ARF's early years.
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.
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.
Security, Trade, and Community Building
This book examines the growing interdependence between ASEAN and Korea and the political and economic realities governing the relationship. Leading experts from ASEAN and Korea discuss the emerging issues in areas of domestic and regional security environments, non-traditional security, regional trade arrangements, Korean relations with the new ASEAN member states, and the prospects of community-building with special reference to the roles of Korea and ASEAN. It also provides a serious and thought-provoking evaluation of future ASEAN-Korea relations in light of the growing trend towards East Asian regionalism.
Foundations and Future Prospects
In 2012, Russia assumes the Chairmanship of APEC, and is keen to build on its memberships of both the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). Russia is geographically and historically part of Asia and the Asia Pacific, and has been a dialogue partner of ASEAN since 1996. Still, the obstacles of distance and languages have led ASEAN member states and Russia to know and interact little between both sides. As growth poles in the world economy, there is much benefit in greater interaction between their rich economies. To commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership in 2011, the ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS and its counterpart from MGIMO-University, Moscow co-organized a two-day conference that year, in which papers were presented offering perspectives from Russia and the ten ASEAN member states. Representatives from academia, and the public and private sectors offered insights on topics including geopolitics, bilateral relations, business and economics, and culture and education. This is a timely book that affords the reader insights into where ASEAN-Russia relations currently stand and suggests how they can improve and move forward.