9 – 10 June 2014
As the year 2015 is fast approaching, the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is becoming of greater interest and concern to businesses, the general public and policymakers. Therefore, the importance of putting in place a comprehensive monitoring mechanism that accurately reflects progress and achievements of the AEC Blueprint outcomes is paramount.
A two-day brainstorming workshop hosted by the ASEAN Integration Monitoring Office (AIMO) and supported by the ASEAN Regional Integration Support from the EU (ARISE) programme was held on 9 and 10 June 2014 in Jakarta to discuss about developing a more effective and comprehensive integration monitoring system. The workshop was officiated by H.E. Dr. Lim Hong Hin, Deputy Secretary General of ASEAN for ASEAN Economic Community with the Head of Cooperation from the EU Delegation to ASEAN, Mr Frank Viault. Participants came from the Market Integration, Finance, Industry and Infrastructure Directorates, and ASEAN Statistics Division of the ASEAN Secretariat (ASEC).
The objective of the two-day brainstorming workshop was to set up an open discussion forum to develop and exchange ideas amongst the current practitioners in ASEC and regional economic integration resource persons from the OECD and UN-CRIS as well as two international experts. The discussion on day one was based on the AEC Scorecard, which is the current tool used to monitor compliance of the initiatives under the AEC Blueprint. In light of identified limitations of the current AEC Scorecard, the discussion on day two was focused on developing a set of integration indicators, which would complement the current compliance tool with an outcome-based monitoring system.
Amongst other issues discussed at the workshop were the collaboration between monitoring activities at national and regional levels, cross-sectoral approaches and the distinction between regional development and regional integration. That is, regional development refers to the ultimate goals of regional integration such as economic growth and improvement of welfare in ASEAN, whereas regional integration refers to the more immediate objectives such as free movement of goods, services and skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.
The ideas and recommendations developed in this workshop provided a useful platform for AIMO to further develop a more comprehensive and effective regional integration monitoring system.