|Thai & ASEAN Community
The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) aims to create an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2020. The AEC would have a combined population of over 575 million and total trade exceeding US$ 1,400 billion.
ASEAN Economic Community
The ASEAN Vision 2020 aims to create a stable, prosperous and highly competitive ASEAN economic region, in which there is a free flow of goods, services, investment and capital, equitable economic development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities by 2020.
Free Trade Area
Underpinning the AEC is the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), a preferential tariff scheme to promote the free flow of goods within ASEAN that are manufactured locally within any ASEAN country.
Comprehensive Investment Area
The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Area (ACIA) will encourage the free flow of investment within ASEAN. Its main principles are:
Full realization of the ACIA with the removal of temporary exclusion lists in manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and mining is scheduled by 2010 for most ASEAN members and by 2015 for Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam.
- All industries are to be opened up for investment, with exclusions to be phased out according to schedules
- National treatment is granted immediately to ASEAN investors with few exclusions
- Elimination of investment impediments
- Streamlining of investment process and procedures
- Enhancing transparency
- Undertaking investment facilitation measures
Trade in Services
ASEAN members are negotiating intra-regional services liberalization in several sectors, including air transport, business services, construction, financial services, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism.
Single Aviation Market
The ASEAN Single Aviation Market (SAM) will introduce an open-sky arrangement to the region by 2015. The ASEAN SAM will be expected to fully liberalize air travel between its member states, allowing ASEAN to benefit from the growth in air travel around the world, and encouraging tourism, trade, investment and services flows between member states.
Free Trade Agreements with Other Countries
ASEAN has concluded free trade agreements with China, Korea, and Japan, and is negotiating FTAs with India, Australia/New Zealand, and the European Union. Taiwan has also expressed interest in an agreement with ASEAN but needs to overcome diplomatic objections from China.
ASEAN Socio-cultural Community
The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community envisages Southeast Asia bonded together in partnership as a strong community of caring societies and aimed at the vigorous development of regional identity and the preservation of the region's cultural heritage.
Current cultural activities include S.E.A. Write Award, Association of Southeast Asian Institutions of Higher Learning, Heritage Parks, Scholarship and University Network.
To prepare each country’s work force for economic integration, ASEAN will encourage investment in education, training, science and technology development, job creation, and social protection. ASEAN will also seek increased cooperation in public health, especially the prevention and control of infectious and communicable diseases.