AEC Blueprint 2025 Analysis: Paper 1 | An Introduction

by Ken Li Yee | Originally published on 20 January 2016.


A brief overview discussing the methodology and potential limitations surrounding the series.


The AEC Blueprint Analysis series is a publication which seeks to provide insight into the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint (AEC) 2025. The publication will seek to do so by adopting a holistic approach in its analysis; creating context by examining past achievements, defining present challenges, and discussing future plans. The series will pay special attention to strategic measures outlined within the AEC’s new blueprint, providing insights with regards to the viability of regional economic integration under the AEC.


A. Aims

What does this series hope to achieve?

The formal declaration of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) marks the culmination of a decade’s worth of efforts enshrined within the AEC Blueprint 2015, yet the attainment of a single ASEAN market can be said to be far from final. The release of the AEC Blueprint 2025 emphasises this very point, underlining the dynamic and ongoing nature of regional economic integration. As with its predecessor, the AEC Blueprint 2025 was released with the intention that it would serve as a roadmap for future collaborative measures, revising the elements and characteristics vital to developing regional economic unity, and also introducing new areas of emphasis.

The AEC Blueprint 2025 Analysis series represents the CIMB ASEAN Research Institute’s (CARI) efforts in providing an in depth look at what the next decade will bring for the AEC. More specifically, this series will attempt to explore the viability of economic integration under the AEC through a comprehensive, contextualised analysis of the AEC Blueprint 2025.

B. Methodolody

How will each element of the AEC Blueprint 2025 be explored?

As the series hopes to adopt a holistic approach towards dissecting the AEC Blueprint 2025, several elements will be explored in tandem for each item of the blueprint.

Firstly, both the past plans and achievements will be considered so as to provide a firm background and basis for further analysis. Secondly, present challenges against regional economic integration will be delineated to frame the issues the AEC Blueprint will attempt to address. Lastly, the AEC Blueprint’s strategic measures will be evaluated with regards to actionable initiatives in order to provide insight into the viability of economic unification under the AEC.

Reports are to be released on a fortnightly basis, with each of the 26 reports exploring a single element of the AEC blueprint. Refer to the schedule under section D for the list of characteristics and elements which will be explored. Special attention will be placed on the two new areas of
emphasis outlined in the blueprint:

  1. The role of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs),
  2. The use of technology to enhance trade and investments, provide an e-based business platform, promote good governance, and facilitate the use of green technology;

Report Structure

  • A) Past Plans
    What were the targets in the AEC 2015 Blueprint?
  • B) Past Achievements
    What has been achieved?
  • C) Present Challenges
    What are the current issues?
  • D) Future Plans
    What new measures are included in the AEC 2025 Blueprint?
  • E) AEC Blueprint Analysis
    What do the measures entail?
  • F) Conclusion
    What does the AEC 2025 Blueprint mean in terms of the Trade in Goods?


C. Limitations

What are the constraints of this series?

It should be noted that even as the series endeavours to provide an analysis grounded in realistic expectations and research, several limitations do restrict the attainment of aims as outlined above. These are:

  • The AEC has yet to release a detailed plan of action,
  • Inability to forecast future economic conditions,
  • Analysis is based on publicly available literature, meaning unpublished progress and events will not be reflected,
  • Inability to foresee changes in political administrations and agendas, based off current status quo;


D. AEC Blueprint 2025’s Characteristics and Elements

A. A Highly Integrated and Cohesive Economy

    A.1. Trade in Goods
    A.2. Trade in Services
    A.3. Investment Environment
    A.4. Financial Integration, Financial Inclusion, Financial Stability
    A.5. Facilitating Movement of Skilled Labour and Business Visitors
    A.6. Enhancing Participation in Global Value Chains

B. A Competitive, Innovative and Dynamic ASEAN

    B.1. Effective Competition Policy
    B.2. Consumer Protection
    B.3. Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation
    B.4. Productivity-Driven Growth, Innovation, Research and Development, and Technology Commercialisation
    B.5. Taxation Cooperation
    B.6. Sustainable Economic Development

C. Enhanced Connectivity and Sectoral Cooperation

    C.1. Transport (Long)
    C.2. Information and Communications Technology
    C.3. E-Commerce
    C.4. Energy
    C.5. Food, Agriculture, Forestry
    C.6. Tourism
    C.7. Healthcare
    C.8. Minerals
    C.9. Science and Technology

D. A Resilient, Inclusive, People-Oriented and People-Centred ASEAN

    D.1. Public-Private Partnership
    D.2. Narrowing the Development Gap

E. A Global ASEAN

F. Implementation and Review

ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together, The ASEAN Secretariat (2015).
Secretariat, T. A. (2008). ASEAN Economic Blueprint.
Secretariat, T. A. (2015). ASEAN Integration Report 2015.

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