AEC 2015: all set for manufacturing, lagging on services

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Media Coverage

1 January 2015

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) aims for regional economic integration this year. What implications will it have on the burgeoning ASEAN business environment? Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, shared his insights in the Asian version of Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. 

As the Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries liberalize trade in line with AEC goals, the ASEAN economic landscape is changing. Many of the goals of the AEC in terms of liberalizing trade in goods have already been realized ahead of the 2015 deadline. This has helped to build up a positive momentum for the AEC project. This will also stimulate some restructuring of manufacturing activities in the region going forward. 

However the progress towards AEC goals in terms of freeing up human resources and services is lagging. It will take some years after 2015 before these are realized, due to the greater sensitivity of changes in these spheres. 

However, Perera cautioned that we should not expect the AEC to transform ASEAN into another European Union (EU). The AEC is far from being like the EU’s Maastricht treaty of 1992. Deeper economic integration will take more time due to the differences in culture, history, politics and economic development among ASEAN countries, which, unlike Europe, have never been unified as a single political entity in their entire history. 

For media enquiries, please contact:

Nidhi Singh
Senior Executive, Group Corporate Communications
Spire Research and Consulting
Phone:  (91) 124 288 9151