22 Sep An economic community focused on regional integration
The ASEAN Economic Community is collectively the 7th largest economy in the world and is building stronger networks
The establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 was a major milestone in the regional economic integration agenda in ASEAN, offering opportunities in the form of a huge market of US$ 3 trillion and over 650 million consumers. In 2014, AEC was collectively the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world.
The AEC Blueprint 2025, adopted by the ASEAN leaders at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2015, provides broad directions through strategic measures for the AEC from 2016 to 2025.
The AEC Blueprint 2025 consists of the following five inter-related and mutually reinforcing characteristics:
(i) A highly integrated and cohesive economy;
(ii) A competitive, innovative, and dynamic ASEAN;
(iii) Enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation;
(iv) A resilient, inclusive, people-oriented, and people-centred ASEAN; and
(v) A global ASEAN.
The blueprint envisages partnership arrangements with the private sector, industry associations and the wider community at regional and national levels. These arrangements will be actively sought and fostered to ensure an inclusive and participatory approach to integration. The AEC Blueprint 2025 will lead towards an ASEAN that is more proactive, having had in place the structure and frameworks to operate as an economic community, cultivating its collective identity and strength to engage with the world, responding to new developments, and seizing new opportunities.