Why ASEAN's Fu­ture Hangs in the Bal­ance

Diplomat East Africa - - Table of Contents -

At the re­cent ASEAN sum­mit in Myan­mar, mem­ber states de­clared their in­ten­tion to cre­ate an Eco­nomic Com­mu­nity (AEC) by 2015 which will al­low a freer flow of goods, ser­vices, in­vest­ments, skilled labour and cap­i­tal in the re­gion.

“It will be one of the most im­por­tant re­gional in­te­gra­tion ef­forts. It will leave us more ad­vanced and achieve the goals of be­com­ing one of the most im­por­tant and strate­gic re­gional or­ga­ni­za­tions in the world,” said Mr Is­mail Salam, Malaysia’s Am­bas­sador to Kenya and Chair of the ASEAN com­mu­nity in Kenya.

The core el­e­ment of the union is to ul­ti­mately achieve po­lit­i­cal co­he­sion, in­te­grate eco­nom­i­cally to form a so­cially re­spon­si­ble and peo­ple-cen­tred com­mu­nity that will play an im­por­tant role in South East Asia, said a gath­er­ing of am­bas­sadors from the ASEAN re­gion in Kenya.

How­ever, there is wide­spread con­cern that the much-an­tic­i­pated AECwill not have been re­al­ized by the end-2015 dead­line. A survey re­cently re­leased by the U.S Cham­ber of Com­merce said most re­spon­dents were pes­simistic about the 2015 dead­line, say­ing


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