PH urged to plan for Asean market integration
MANILA, Philippines - Companies in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, are urged to start coming up with strategies on how to take advantage of the single Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) market as the region is on track to meet its goal of economic integration by December 2015.
Speaking at the 11th Management Association of the Philippines CEO (Chief Executive Officers) Conference yesterday, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh said ASEAN companies need to start understanding, as well as prepare for the region’s goal of economic integration.
“ASEAN companies should start strategizing on how they can capitalize on the single market and production base which will be created by 2015,” he said.
He said companies should likewise capitalize on the market access provided through the various existing bilateral Free Trade Agreements.
By studying the ASEAN economic agreements and programs, he said firms would see the opportunities available to them.
Given the region’s immense growth potentials, he said a company preparing for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) should not only limit its sights on investment opportunities in its home country, but also look at other member states.
“The private sector should carry out in-depth market analysis of the region to identify potential markets and challenges, given the diversity in language, culture and development gaps between ASEAN member states,” he said.
With two years left before the ASEAN economic integration is realized, the Asean official noted that the region is on track with its goal as 79.7 percent of the measures under the AEC Blueprint has already been implemented.
“By December 2015, we would have implemented 90 to 95 percent of the measures,” he said.
Among the important measures that still need to be implemented are those covering transportation as well as trade facilitation through the National Single Window system.
He also said that as firms outside of the ASEAN are considering opportunities offered in the region, there is a need to come up with a list of sectors in which non-ASEAN firms would not be allowed to invest in.
To come up with a list, he said, getting all member-states to agree on the sectors in which non-ASEAN firms cannot participate in would be crucial.
“What we want is an environment more conducive to investment not only for investment from ASEAN countries but also for investment from partner countries,” he said.