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ASEAN Economic Community Department to convene


ASEAN Economic Community Department to convene

Photo: Reuters

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community Department is set to hold another round of talks today.

The regional bloc recently completed a midterm review of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025, a far-reaching policy aimed at boosting inclusive economic development and reducing barriers to intra-bloc trade and investment. The review revealed strong progress has been made thus far with the average time needed to establish a business reduced by nearly half and 54% of action lines from the original agreement already implemented.

Today’s talks will likely focus on supporting manufacturing capacity and the timely ratification and implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) at the state level. Survey results included in the report identify tariff reduction and simplification of customs standards as top priorities for businesses operating in the bloc—RCEP includes provisions to address both these concerns, indicating a positive business outlook in the long-term. Additionally, states are keen to support domestic manufacturing businesses which are capturing benefits from shifting global supply chains resulting from rising production costs in China and persistent trade tensions between the US and China. Expect RCEP and increased bloc harmonization to dominate economic dialogues in the medium-term as economies are reopened and reconstituted.

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