With the freer movement of labour, capital, investment and goods across Southeast Asia, multinational corporations (MNCs) look set to benefit from deeper economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community. Industry leaders weigh in with their expectations of what the AEC means for their organisations and ideas on how to speed up the integration process in this article from ASEAN UP.
Will the greater skills mobility under the ASEAN Community be is an inclusive type of economic integration, and contribute to a reduction in income or wealth inequality? The Asian Development Bank’s Shang Wei Lin tackles the issue in this article in’ The Nation’.
Vientiane takes centre stage this year, as ASEAN chair. The Lao People’s Democratic Republic is also becoming a magnet for competing powers, but some analysts say it is a potential coming of age for the relatively isolated country, says this article from The Straits Times.
Giving back to the community. Being an inclusive business. A business that makes partners out of its suppliers and the communities around it. These are some of the ways Philippine businesses define corporate social responsibility (CSR), a habit that is acquiring more relevance against the backdrop of ASEAN integration.
Separated from mainland South-east by vast oceans, the Philippines is often seen as more interested in the West than in its own neighbours. Will the ASEAN mindset grow in the Filipino psyche now that the ASEAN Community has been launched?
Indonesia controls – through reference pricing – the imports of products like shallots. It’s meant to protect local producers, but there often isn’t enough supply and consumers find the prices of this basic kitchen spice high. What’s the balance between a barrier to trade and a protection tool for domestic interests? Kanis Dursin reports for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ media programme.
The third largest producer of palm oil in the world, Thailand is facing domestic and international challenges in its management of the prized crop. Although oversupply, high costs and lack of competitiveness in terms of pricing are ongoing concerns, the country is adamant about protecting the sector, as Kornchanok Raksaseri of ‘Econ News’ finds out in this ‘Making AEC Work’ story, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN:2015 and Beyond’ programme.
Boosting bilateral trade volumes to reach $10-12 billion in 2017 will be a key concern for Thailand and Myanmar. To achieve the target, the two neighbours will need to combat smuggling and ease certain restrictions, explains Kyaw Hsu Mon of ‘The Irrawaddy’ in her story for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, ‘Reporting ASEAN:2015 and Beyond’ programme.
Thailand is a major exporter of halal products, but hasn’t found it easy to export to Indonesia, home to the biggest Muslim population and thus the biggest consumer base for halal products. Thai officials propose that ASEAN pushes for a unified halal standard, but this does not seem likely anytime soon, explains Sathapat Phaethong (@Sathapat_P) of ‘Sawasdee ASEAN’ in this video report for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, part of the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ media programme.
Deforestation is a key concern in Myanmar, where total forest cover has reduced by a third in the last 15 years. The thriving illegal timber trade is to blame, explains Kyaw Hsu Mon of ‘The Irrawaddy’ in her story for the ‘Making AEC Work’ series, ‘Reporting ASEAN:2015 and Beyond’ programme.
As this year’s haze episode affects Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand, businesses are trying to look beyond governments to address this recurring problem – by using market and consumer tools. Candida Ng reports.
Experts discuss a mix of weapons with which to fight corruption and bribery in the world of business and government, all to encourage responsible, ethical business as norms of doing business in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. Diana Mendoza reports.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 (Reporting ASEAN) – Who knew that agricultural products like coffee could be a force for good, empowering communities, notably women, to engage in profitable yet sustainable livelihoods?
Japan’s economic ties with countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) go back decades, but future linkages between them will take deeper root with the emergence of the ASEAN Community and be led by the youth from both sides, Suvendrini Kakuchi reports from Tokyo.
Beyond corporate social responsibility, which norms can work as ‘responsible business practices’ as ASEAN heads toward greater integration with the ASEAN Community’s launch in December 2015? Businesses, civil society and others are pushing to raise the bar on issues like human rights, decent work and fighting corruption, reports Diana Mendoza.
Amid the heated debates and discussions around this year’s haze episode in Southeast Asia, ASEAN’s agreement on transboundary haze pollution has gotten little attention – or mention. It lies all but buried in the embers of frustration of Indonesia’s neighbouring countries, reports Kanis Dursin* from Jakarta.
Strong outside, weaker inside? ASEAN needs to address its internal contradictions before it can achieve true integration and be considered a regional powerhouse. Ahead of the ASEAN Community’s launch, Johanna Son takes a closer look at the ASEAN way in this story for ‘The Irrawaddy’ under the ‘Reporting ASEAN: 2015 and Beyond’ series.
SINGAPORE, Aug 17 (Reporting ASEAN/IPS Asia-Pacific) – The clock is ticking towards the Dec. 31 launch of the ASEAN Community, but there remains a wide gulf between governments’ enthusiasm for it and the public’s limited understanding of what it really means and how it will change their lives.
TOKYO, Aug 8 (Reporting ASEAN) – Japan has had long-running, deep engagement with Southeast Asia. But the region’s deeper integration through the upcoming ASEAN Community provides a new opportunity for the country to emerge as an Asian leader – at a time of disquiet about rival China these days.
With the establishment of the ASEAN Economy Community, Vietnamese exports stand to gain from the elimination of tariffs. But free trade also means the country will need to ensure its products remain attractive amid fiercer competition. Thi Huong of Vietnam Economic News looks at how the textile and agriculture industries plan to tackle this challenge in her story for the ‘Reporting ASEAN’ media fellowship programme.