PM Raises Doubts on ASEAN Economic Community

Prime Minister Hun Sen questioned yesterday the extent of the ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) commitment towards forming an inclusive economic region as countries continue to compete with each other for agricultural exports and inflows of foreign direct investment. During his speech at the first World Economic Forum on East Asia since the AEC came into effect at the end of last year, the prime minister was quick to note the challenges of regional integration. “We are concerned that the ASEAN Economic Community still has many challenges. If we talk about the one market, it is a big [one], but one should not forget that ASEAN consists of less developed countries and high developed countries,” he said yesterday at the summit held in Malaysia. He explained that for less developed countries striving to climb up the economic ladder, attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) is essential. “We need to find coordination and partnership, so that we can guarantee that we can all get a piece of the meat,” he said.

Read more: http://www.phnompenhpost.com/business/pmraises-doubts-asean-economic-community

Why it matters: ASEAN has not yet delivered for developing countries in the region. The main mantra for ASEAN presence in the region is that its existence is
important to maintain peace an stability in the region. However, for Cambodia, they have witnessed this role put in to stress during the Preah Vihear case. Moreover,
ASEAN high economic growth has not really been inclusive. If ASEAN wants to continue to be relevant for all of its member states, it is high time that it answers
these challenges.

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PM Raises Doubts on ASEAN Economic Community

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