ASEAN Update: What to Expect this Year

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Even if the Philippines won’t host the next ASEAN summits for a few years to come, it doesn’t mean we’re going to be out of the activities and festivities. That’s right, ASEAN is full of activity and plans for members including initiatives on Political and Security Cooperation, Socio-Cultural Cooperation, and Connectivity Cooperation. For this post, however, we will focus on Economic Cooperation as these improvements will affect potential investments and businesses in the country.

  1. Trade, business, and investment
    There would be regular meetings between the ASEAN-EU Senior Economic Officials. Further dialogue and cooperation about economic and social policy will be encouraged. Work towards the resumption of the ASEAN-EU Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations will be intensified. Strengthening the capacity of ASEAN Member States across the region would also be strengthened, as would be support for the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint 2025.
  2. Private sector and Public-Private Partnership (PPP)
    Dialogues between public-private sectors and business-to-business engagement will be highly encouraged to make sure business interests between ASEAN and EU would be efficiently represented. Best practices between EU Member States and ASEAN Member States on PPP would be shared to benefit and integrated within the region. Recommendations from the ASEAN-EU Business Council would also be encouraged.
  1. Strengthen Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
    Practices and experiences in financing and developing MSMEs would be shared between members to prompt future trade or exchanges on policy and regulatory frameworks. Implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 and its Strategic Goals learned in EU would also be exchanged.
  2. Strengthen Cooperation in Transport, Energy, and ICT
    Best practices on regional transport issues would also be a priority, including further cooperation to conclude and implement the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement, There will also be a promotion and development of the ASEAN Single Aviation Market. Encouraging best practices regarding energy access and energy will also be part of the initiative. One of the main goals is also to develop a transparent and coherent ICT regulatory framework.
  3. Food, agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, and forestry
    In terms of mutual interests, there would be an enhanced cooperation in sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) matters. Strengthening of fisheries will also be part of the plan, including the goal to fight IUU or Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing. A possible development of an ASEAN Common Fisheries Policy could also be in the works. Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) is also going to be promoted. Illicit trafficking of wildlife and timber would also be addressed.
  4. Research and innovation, Science and Technology
    The dialogue between the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST) and EU would resume. The ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology, and Innovation (APASTI) 2016-2025 would be implemented. Science and Technology centers and other stakeholders would be enhanced in terms of cooperation. Finally, mobility and exchange of scientists and researchers between ASEAN and EU would be promoted.

With these plans and strategies, the Philippines is on a solid path to a more stable economy. Business owners, investors, consumers, and workforce will greatly benefit from these enhancements should they be implemented. Being part of the ASEAN will definitely keep the Philippines up-to-date and actively be a part of the most recent global improvements.

Are you ready for the Philippines to change for the better?

Banner image from voanews.com

Source Link: ASEAN-EU Plan of Action (2018-2022)