Special update on 28th & 29th ASEAN Summits
The theme for the 28th ASEAN Summit under Lao PDR’s chairmanship was “Turning Vision Into Reality For A Dynamic ASEAN Community” as ASEAN begins first year journey in ASEAN Community building.
8 Priorities under Lao Chairmanship
- Implementation of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025
- Narrowing of the development gap
- Trade facilitation
- Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) development
- Tourism development
- Transition to formal economy in ASEAN
- Reinforcing cultural heritage cooperation in ASEAN
Outcome of Summits
- ASEAN Declaration on One ASEAN, One Response: ASEAN Responding to Disasters as One in the Region and Outside the Region
- Vientiane Declaration on the Adoption of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration Work Plan III
- Vientiane Declaration on the Adoption of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025
- Vientiane Declaration on Transition from Informal Employment to Formal Employment towards Decent Work Promotion in ASEAN
- Vientiane Declaration on Reinforcing Cultural Heritage Cooperation in ASEAN
- ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Education for Out-of-School Children and Youth
- ASEAN Joint Statement on Biodiversity Conservation to the Thirteenth Meeting of the Conference of Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-13)
- ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to the Twenty-Second Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP-22)
- ASEAN Declaration of Commitment on HIV and AIDS: Fast Tracking and Sustaining HIV and AIDS Response to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030.
Update on ASEAN Community Building
- ASEAN Community Vision 2025
- The Summits adopted:
- Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 (see below)
- Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III (see below)
- The Summit reaffirmed peaceful resolution of disputes in accordance with the principles of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
- ASEAN Community Vision 2025 will be implemented in a mutually-reinforcing manner with United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs
- The relevant High Level Task Force (HLTF) has made recommendations for more streamlined coordination and efficient work processes within ASEAN institutions
- In 2015, ASEAN’s combined GDP stood at USD2.43 trillion while real GDP grew at 4.7% amidst increasingly challenging global conditions.
- Despite external headwinds, ASEAN economic outlook is projected to remain resilient at 4.5% in 2016, underpinned by strong public and private consumption, robust infrastructure spending and accommodative fiscal policy, before accelerating to 4.8% in 2017.
- ASEAN’s merchandise trade performance, which reached USD2.28 trillion in 2015, with intra-regional trade accounting for the largest share at 24% or USD545 billion.
- Total foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to the region remained resilient at USD120 billion in 2015, with the services sector as the largest contributor at 62.5%.
- At 18.5% of total FDI inflows or USD22.1 billion, intra-ASEAN FDI inflows also accounted for the largest share of FDI inflows to the region.
Progress of ASEAN Economic Community 2025
- In 2016, efforts have been focused on completing the remaining AEC 2015 measures as well as initiating the implementation of new measures under the AEC Blueprint 2025. The following deliverables have been adopted at the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting:
- ASEAN Trade Facilitation Framework;
- ASEAN Food Safety Regulatory Framework (AFSRF);
- ASEAN Institutional Framework on Access to Finance for MSME;
- Report and Work Programme on Starting a Business in ASEAN; and
- ASEAN Guidelines for Special Economic Zones Development & Collaboration.
- Launch of the ASEAN Tariff Finder website, which is a no-cost online- based tariff search facility.
- Pakse Declaration on ASEAN Roadmap for Strategic Development of Ecotourism Clusters and Corridors was adopted by ASEAN Tourism Ministers, which aims at achieving a balanced sustainable development of ecotourism in ASEAN.
- Work plans on e-Commerce and good regulatory practice are currently being finalised. We tasked the Sectoral Bodies to ensure effective implementation of these work plans.
- The AEC 2025 Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Framework was endorsed which is comprised of compliance-monitoring, outcomes- monitoring, and impact evaluation to help ensure the timely and effective implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025.
- The AEC 2025 Consolidated Strategic Action Plan (SAP), as envisioned in the AEC Blueprint 2025, is under development.
- Reaffirmed commitments to address non-tariff barriers (NTB) to trade and accord high priority to trade facilitation initiatives.
- Operationalisation of the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade (ASSIST), which is aimed at helping businesses address complaints about NTBs for trade in goods.
- The establishment of National Trade Repository (NTRs) by all ASEAN Member States while the process of linking the NTRs to the ASEAN Trade Repository (ATR) is still underway.
- The exchange of live data of the electronic ATIGA Form D by Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand in the ASEAN Single Window (ASW) production environment. Once fully operationalised, the ASW will provide a regional facility to enable a seamless, standardised and harmonised routing and communication of trade and customs related data among the National Single Windows (NSWs) to expedite customs clearance and release.
- The ASEAN Customs Transit System (ACTS) which facilitates the movement of transit goods across the borders in ASEAN is piloting in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
- The MRA on Bio-Equivalence (BE) Study Report on Generic Medicinal Products, which will facilitate the movement of generic medicinal products within ASEAN. is completed.
- ASEAN Agreement on Movement of Natural Persons (MNP), which shall facilitate the movement of ASEAN people engaging in trade in goods, trade in services and investment in the region, has entered into force. The ASEAN Qualification Reference Framework (AQRF) Governance and Structure, a cross-sectoral and cross-pillar initiative, by the ASEAN Labour Ministers, ASEAN Education Ministers, and ASEAN Economic Ministers, has been endorsed. AQRF will be implemented on a voluntary basis.
- 9 AMSs have enacted competition laws, and that the newer competition regimes are in the process of establishing competition agencies to implement their competition laws. The implementation of the ASEAN Competition Action Plan 2025 will be carried out by phases.
- Initiatives under the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on Consumer Protection 2025 towards a common ASEAN consumer protection framework will be developed.
- The ASEAN Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Action Plan 2016-2025 is to be implemented.
- Private sector engagement:
- Focus of ASEAN-BAC 2016: four priority sectors of agri-food, retail, logistics and healthcare, and on the horizontal issues of trade facilitation, e-Commerce and the development of MSMEs, young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs
- ASEAN Strategic Action Plan for SME Development 2016-2025 (SAPSMED 2025) action plan overseen by the ASEAN Coordinating Committee on Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (ACCMSME), coordinates collaboration among ASEAN
- Launch of the ASEAN SME Service Centre Web Portal as an information hub for MSMEs operating in the region
- Launch of ASEAN SME Academy a self-help and self- paced online learning tool for SMEs
- Implementation of the ASEAN Community Statistical System (ACSS) Strategic Plan 2016-2025 to further strengthen regional statistical cooperation among AMS
- Finance – the following have been established:
- Strategic Action Plans for ASEAN Financial Integration 2025
- ASEAN Capital Markets Forum Action Plan 2016-2020
- ASEAN Infrastructure Fund (AIF) reiterated commitment
- ASEAN Insurance Forum
- Working Committee on ASEAN Banking Integration Framework
- Working Committee on Financial Inclusion
- ASEAN Banking Integration Framework (ABIF):
- signing of the first bilateral agreement for the operation of Qualified ASEAN Banks between Indonesia and Malaysia
- the signing of the bilateral Heads of Agreement for ABIF between:
- (a) Philippines and Malaysia; and
(b) Thailand and Malaysia.
- (a) Philippines and Malaysia; and
- Establishment of the ASEAN Single Shipping Market in principle
- Realisation of ASEAN Single Aviation Market with the realisation of open skies – with full ratification of the ASEAN open skies agreements in April 2016
- ASEAN will continue to engage Dialogue Partners and other partners to conclude more liberal and mutually beneficial air transport agreements, including the third, fourth and fifth freedom traffic rights.
- Progress made in the negotiation of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Cross Border Transport of Passengers by Road Vehicles (CBTP)
- Implementation of the ACTS Pilot with the completion of the Operating Guidelines for Goods Vehicle Cross-Border Permit, ACTS Manuals for Transport Officials and for Principals and Transporters.
- Science and Technology
- Launch of the inaugural Exchange Programme for Young ASEAN Officials under the Sakura Science Plan;
- the Japan-ASEAN Science, Technology and Innovation Platform (JASTIP)
- Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI)
- ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) 2016-2025 to be operationalised.
- Telecommunications and Information Technology
- ASEAN ICT Masterplan 2020 (AIM 2020) will propel ASEAN‟s towards a digitally-enabled economy that is secure, sustainable, and transformative.
- ASEAN Framework on Personal Data Protection aimed at establishing a regional approach on personal data protection is being developed.
- Food, Agriculture, and Forestry
- Development of the Key Performance Indicators for the Strategic Plan for ASEAN Cooperation in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (2016-2025)
- Formulation of the Strategic Plan of Action for the ASEAN Cooperation on Crops (2016-2020)
- Formulation of Strategic Plan of Action for the ASEAN Cooperation in Livestock (2016-2020)
- Formulation Strategic Plan of Action on ASEAN Cooperation in Fisheries (2016-2020),
- Formulation Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Cooperation on Forestry (2016-2025)
- Emphasis is placed on the use of green technologies and investment of related infrastructure in agriculture to increase productivity while conserving the eco system.
- Joint ASEAN-Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) Declaration on Regional Cooperation for Combating IUU Fishing and Enhancing the Competitiveness of ASEAN Fish and Fishery Products which was issued.
- Thailand granting the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTEER) Secretariat legal personality and privileges to support its role in enhancing food security.
- Progress has been made in implementing the ASEAN Plan of Action on Energy Cooperation (APAEC) 2016-2025 Phase 1: 2016-2020.
- 1st ASEAN Renewable Energy Outlook with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to be launched at the upcoming 34th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) in September 2016.
- Adoption of Minimum Energy Performance Standards for Air Conditioning
- Lao PDR, Thailand and Malaysia plan to sign a MoU to pursue the initial phase of the Lao-Thailand- Malaysia-Singapore (LTMS) Power Integration Project.
- ASEAN received 108.9 million international visitors in 2015, an increase of 7.3% from 2014.
- ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025 was released.
- In celebrating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN in 2017, ASEAN tourism campaign “Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration” to be carried out by ASEAN Member States.
- Signing of the Agreement on the Establishment of the Regional Secretariat for the Implementation of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) to be stationed in Jakarta and the further development of key MRA-TP infrastructures, including the ASEAN Tourism Professional Registration System to support its implementation.<
- External Economic Relations
- Entry into force of the Third Protocol to Amend the ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement,
- Entry into force of the Protocol to Amend the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-operation and Certain Agreements Thereunder between ASEAN and China.
- Conclusion of services and investment negotiations under the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership,
- Planned review of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement
- Commencement of the negotiations for further liberalisation under ASEAN-Korea Trade in Goods Agreement,
- Endorsement of the Terms of Reference for General Review of the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA,
- Progress made in the negotiations for ASEAN-Hong Kong, China FTA.
- Endorsement of:
- the renewed ASEAN-Japan 10-Year Strategic Economic Partnership Roadmap,
- the ASEAN-U.S. Cooperation in Fostering Transparency and Good Regulatory Practices,
- the ASEAN-U.S. Cooperation in Fostering International Investment.
- Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership (RCEP) negotiations has not concluded and ASEAN has called for the ministers and negotiators to redouble efforts towards its early conclusion.
ASEAN Leaders adopt Master Plan on Connectivity 2025
- MPAC 2025 succeeds the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2010
- It was developed in consultation with relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and other stakeholders (Note: CARI and ABC participated in the process).
- 5 strategic areas:
- Sustainable Infrastructure:
- ASEAN needs at least US$110 billion of infrastructure investment each year to support future growth
- MPAC 2025 aims to help investors seize opportunities in sustainable infrastructure by improving project preparations, enhancing infrastructure productivity and supporting cities in adopting sustainable practices.
- Digital Innovation:
- Digital technologies in ASEAN could potentially be worth up to US$625 billion by 2030, which may be derived from increased efficiency, new products and services.
- Capturing digital innovation requires:
- the establishment of regulatory frameworks for the delivery of new digital services;
- support for the sharing of best practices on open data;
- and equipping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the capabilities to access these new technologies.
- Seamless Logistics:
- Improving logistics competitiveness will ease the movement of goods within the ASEAN community, increasing business opportunities for ASEAN citizens.
- MPAC 2025 aims to support this by identifying and addressing key bottlenecks on important trade routes in ASEAN.
- Regulatory Excellence:
- ASEAN Member States have reduced tariffs significantly, benefiting consumers in the region.
- The MPAC focuses on standards harmonisation, mutual recognition and technical regulations, as well as trade-distorting non-tariff measures in order to achieve regulatory excellence.
- People Mobility:
- The number of tourists from outside ASEAN could reach 150 million by 2025.
- MPAC 2025 will focus on providing comprehensive information on travel options and simplifying visa application processes.
- It will also develop high-quality qualification frameworks in critical vocational occupations, which ASEAN Member States could implement according to their national circumstances, and encourage greater mobility of intra-ASEAN university students.
- Sustainable Infrastructure:
15 Initiatives of MPAC 2025
- Sustainable infrastructure
- Initiative 1: Establish a Rolling Priority Pipeline List of Potential ASEAN Infrastructure Projects and Sources of Funds.
- Initiative 2: Establish an ASEAN Platform to Measure and Improve Infrastructure Productivity.
- Initiative 3: Develop Sustainable Urbanisation Strategies in ASEAN Citie
- Digital Innovation
- Initiative 4: Enhance the MSME technology platform
- Initiative 5: Develop the ASEAN digital financial inclusion framework
- Initiative 6: Establish an ASEAN open data network
- Seamless Logistics
- Initiative 7: Establish an ASEAN digital data governance framework 3) Seamless Logistics
- Initiative 8: Strengthen ASEAN competitiveness through enhanced trade routes and logistics
- Initiative 9: Enhance supply chain efficiency through addressing key chokepoints
- Regulatory excellence
- Initiative 10: Complete harmonisation of standards, mutual recognition, and technical regulations in three prioritised product groupings
- Initiative 11: Increase transparency and strengthen evaluation to reduce trade-distorting non- tariff measures
- People Mobility
- Initiative 12: Enhance ASEAN travel by making finding information easier
- Initiative 13: Ease ASEAN travel by facilitating visa processes
- Initiative 14: Establish new vocational training programmes and common qualifications across ASEAN Member States, in accordance with national circumstances of each ASEAN Member State
- Initiative 15: Support higher education exchange across ASEAN Member States
Initiative For ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III
Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) Work Plan III
- The IAI provides assistance to Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV countries) to narrow the development gap within ASEAN.
- The implementation rate for actions of the previous work plans is less than 45%, therefore Work Plan III is focused to undertaking a more strategic and focused effort in the development and implementation of the measures.
- IAI Work Plan III has been developed in close collaboration with CLMV countries, other ASEAN Member States and stakeholders, and is aligned with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.
- In order to assist CLMV countries to meet the targets and commitments to realise the ASEAN Community, five strategic areas have been identified:
- Food and Agriculture
- The populations of CLMV countries are primarily rural and dependent on agriculture, and rural poverty remains endemic. Given the low agricultural productivity, there are great opportunities to improve yields and competitiveness – though these improvements need to be sustainable.
- ASEAN is also working to increase trade in agriculture through harmonisation of standards and to improve food security in the region. Support to CLMV countries will help promote these objectives.
- Trade Facilitation
- Harmonisation of trade procedures can significantly reduce trade costs, especially in CLMV countries where border and documentary procedures need to be simplified.
- ASEAN Economic Community is strongly focused on improving trade facilitation through various mechanisms, e.g. ASEAN Trade Repository and ASEAN Single Window, and CLMV countries need assistance to fully participate.
- Increasing the capacity of CLMV countries to understand WTO rules and processes and implement WTO agreements will also support regional integration.
- Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)
- MSMEs play a very important role in the economies of the CLMV countries. However, the policy environment supporting MSMEs is still relatively weak, with improvement in access to finance and new markets, business regulation and entrepreneurial education being the most significant factors to be addressed.
- CLMV countries will need additional support to implement the measures to promote MSMEs as an ASEAN priority.
- Developing human capital is a major challenge for CLMV countries, with skills gaps widening as economies evolve. Access to basic education has increased, but large numbers of out-of-school children and quality remains largely unaddressed.
- In technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education, ASEAN is promoting mutual recognition of qualifications standards.
- Health and Well-Being
- While indicators of health in CLMV countries have improved significantly since 2000, the large gaps with other Member States remain. ASEAN continuously pursues regional standards in areas such as maternal and child health, and food safety. CLMV countries will need special support to implement these standards.
- Health also has important regional dimensions. An integrated surveillance system in all Member States is crucial in areas such as emerging infectious and communicable diseases.
- Food and Agriculture
To strengthen the implementation of IAI Work Plan III, four dimensions that are important for delivery by governments have been identified:
- Clear governance and ownership
- Leadership and well-defined roles and responsibilities are crucial for effective implementation.
- A new governance structure for IAI will be implemented for Work Plan III, with CLMV focal points in each strategic area, and closer integration with existing sectoral bodies.
- Presence of core skills and finance
- Effective implementation requires access to the right resources – people, skills and financing – for delivery.
- Work Plan III introduces a consistent project development and recognition process to replace the multiple systems under Work Plan II.
- Proactive stakeholder engagement
- Proactive engagement with stakeholders supports the successful implementation of the initiative, and helps motivate complementary activity.
- The existing mechanism for consultation between the IAI Task Force and Dialogue Partners and external parties will continue.
- Stakeholders’ forums will be organised to exchange information and encourage project commitments and to encourage CLMV focal points for each strategic area to coordinate with relevant stakeholders.
- Robust performance management
- The effectiveness of implementation will be measured through an impartial and rigorous performance-tracking system, which is regular, data-driven and fact-based.
- Project performance will be evaluated against planned inputs and targeted outputs. The ASEAN Secretariat will then consolidate this data, and produce semi-annual work plan implementation monitoring reports that the IAI Task Force can use to review progress. Overall outcomes will be assessed periodically.