Economic connections are growing faster between ASEAN and the rest of the world than within ASEAN

Trade in goods and services, and foreign direct investments (FDI) are improving in most member countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). However, economic relations within ASEAN could be further strengthened.


As of 2017, Intra-ASEAN trade in goods is only 22.6% even lower than 2015 (23.5%), services is at 16.58%, only slightly up from 2015 (16.46%). Meanwhile FDI within ASEAN is only 19.39%


All these are broken down in detail in the ASEAN Economic Integration: Report Card, which attempts to measure performance against the targets set in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025.


ASEAN’s vision is to become “highly integrated and cohesive; competitive, innovative and dynamic; with enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; and a more resilient, inclusive, and people-oriented, people-centered community, integrated with the global economy” by 2025. A crucial part of this vision – integrating ASEAN within the global economy – is ASEAN’s economic relationship with the European Union (EU).


The ASEAN Economic Integration: Report Card will be presented with another report on an ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement, which identifies the potential and pitfalls of a trade deal between these two regional blocs on 11 December 2018 at the Intercontinental Singapore Robertson Quay.


The two publications are outputs of the ASEAN Prosperity Initiative (API), a project designed to identify the major opportunities and challenges relating to ASEAN’s future prosperity. API is a spearheaded by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), a non-profit research institute based in Malaysia,

and supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF).


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