Extract from “How TPP can disrupt ASEAN economic integration”

The most important pillar of the ASEAN Community is the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which according to the Bali Concord II Declaration aims “to create a stable, prosperous and highly competitive ASEAN economic region in which there is a free flow of goods, services, investment and a freer flow of capital, equitable economic development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities”.

One of the reasons behind the creation of the AEC was to avoid some ASEAN countries pursuing their own economic agendas in the region at the expense of the other members. Thus, the AEC seeks to strengthen trade and investment links with non-ASEAN countries through a coherent approach.

Rather than acting individually, ASEAN countries agree to collectively negotiate with other countries and throughout the process ASEAN should maintain its central role.

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