26 February 2024 | 10:43 am GMT +7
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  • ASEAN Economic Community

    How viable is investing?

    • Competitive Economic Region

      The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) envisions ASEAN as a competitive economic region benefiting not only investors and businesses but also consumers. Towards this end, ASEAN leaders commit to pursue not only regional agreements, workplans, and programs but also relevant national laws and policies.

      What are the significant developments so far?


      A culture of fair competition

      Five ASEAN countries-Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam-have enforced their respective Competition Policy and Law (CPL). The Philippines-while yet to introduce a competition law, has established the Office for Competition under the Department of Justice. A CPL is expected to create a level playing field and foster a culture of fair business competition.


      Efficient and integrated transportation network

      ASEAN member states have concluded three transport facilitation agreements namely, the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Foods in Transit (AFAFGIT), ASEAN Framework Agreement on Multimodal Transport (AFAMT), and ASEAN Framework Agreement on Facilitation of Inter-State Transport (AFAFIST). Once these measures are fully in place, investors will see simplified and harmonised transport procedures and documentation, uniform guidelines and requirements for registration of transit transportation, and ICT-driven applications for cargo transfers.

      One of the key projects of ASEAN is the completion of the ASEAN Highway Network (AHN) and the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link (SKRL).

      • AHN is a network of 23 designated routes totalling about 38,400 kilometres in 10 ASEAN countries connecting seaports, airports, as well as investment and tourism areas.

      • SKRL will run through Singapore-Malaysia-Thailand-Cambodia-Viet Nam-and Kunming, China. It will have spur lines in Thailand-Myanmar and Thailand-Lao PDR.


      Energy security

      ASEAN is currently implementing the US$5.9 billion ASEAN Power Grid (APN) project which requires 16 cross –border transmission interconnections among ASEAN countries. To date, nine interconnections have been constructed and are running while the others are in varying stages of planning and construction. Meanwhile, the US$7 billion Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline (TAGP) project, which will enable Southeast Asia to transport gas across ASEAN countries, has completed eight bilateral gas pipelines.

      What are the possibilities for investors?

      • Information-technology companies in high-income ASEAN countries can transfer advance and proprietary technologies without risk to their Intellectual property (for validation with ASEC)

      • SMEs in the creative industries can leverage on their cultural and artistic creativity for increased commercialization

      • A businessman in ASEAN can easily transport cargoes from point A to point B in the region because of the ASEAN Highway Network

      • Investors can easily link with neighboring Northeast and South Asian countries through the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link

      • Businesses can take advantage of the opening up and development of remote towns for tourism purposes

      • Energy-dependent investments such as those in manufacturing can have secure, sustainable, and lower energy cost once the Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline and ASEAN Power Grid are developed

      • Private sector will have increased opportunities for involvement in the energy and mining sector in terms of investments, financing, and technology transfer

  • Integrating ASEAN’s Economy

    ASEAN is keen on integrating the region through the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. Vast opportunities await investors as ASEAN strives to achieve the four pillars of an integrated economic region.


    Air Travel

    Air Travel

    The move towards an ASEAN Single Aviation Market boosted infrastructure investment and aviation development plans in the region. Growth is also attributed to the proliferation...