March 23, 2023

ASEAN Optimistic about Achieving Single Market Goal

ASEAN is confident that the goal of establishing a single market would not be far, and the bloc will continue to aim for it for the common interest of its people and leaving no one behind.
The optimism was shared by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia and Chair of ASEAN 2022, in a written interview with EURACTIV Media ahead of the ASEAN-EU Commemorative Summit to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations.
The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) envisions ASEAN as a single market and production base characterised by free flow of goods, services, and investments, as well as freer flow of capital and skills, he said, adding that ASEAN, through the establishment of the AEC, is committed to enable businesses to leverage on the potentials in the region as an integrated and single investment destination. Rather than having 10 fragmented economies, ASEAN is creating a single market that will allow investors to increase their market reach to a total of more than 650 million population.
The AEC is also about the establishment of a single production base which allows businesses to tap on product and services complementation in the region, to establish a network of industries across ASEAN, and to participate in the global supply chain, the ASEAN Chair continued.
ASEAN-based companies can access raw materials, production inputs, services, labor, and capital wherever in ASEAN they choose to set-up their operations, he pointed out, underlining that companies can save on production costs, focus on their specialisation, and/or maximise economies of scale.
As the current situation stands, Samdech Techo Hun Sen said, it would be unrealistic to expect that the region can attain this goal by 2025 when the world has barely recovered from the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, which have disrupted production and supply chain across the region and the world.
“Nothing is carved in stone. Even if 2025 is too close, we still have reasons to be optimistic considering the adaptability and resilience of our economy. According to the IMF’s projection, the world economy is set to grow by a mere 2.5 percent next year, although there’s a probability that it may go even lower, to below two percent. It is worth noting that when the world is at the brink of a global recession, ASEAN is among the few bright spots with high growth anticipated at 5 percent this year, moderating a bit to 4.7 percent in 2023, but still way above the global average,” he stressed. “Why has ASEAN been more successful? It is because of the reforms that countries in the region have taken, coupled with the degree of their intra- and extra-regional economic integration, as well as their highly effective response to COVID and other current shocks.”

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press