Throughout the last 50 years, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has transformed from a loosely constructed regional organization to one of the major players in the world encompassing almost all countries in Southeast Asia. Besides its growing political integration, ASEAN created the world’s sixth-largest market and works with the third-largest labor force. If by 2030 it were a single economy, ASEAN would be ranked 4th place amongst all world’s economic powers. While its potential for future growth and rising prosperity seems unlimited, to convert them into reality, more efforts need to be undertaken to ensure inclusive and sustainable development of the region as a whole. In this regard, the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 and adoption of ASEAN Vision 2025 Forging Ahead Together moved the bloc toward fostering closer economic, political, social, and cultural cooperation. It will be necessary, however, to take further actions to deliver equitable development across the ASEAN community and in line with Sustainable Development Goals.
About the ASEAN Economic Integration Forum (AEIF)
The 4th ASEAN Economic Integration Forum 2019 aims to provide a platform that allows leaders from the society, industry, academia and government to discuss innovative solutions and to tackle obstacles that are shared among all members of AEC. The fourth installation of the forum follows the ones successfully organized at the University of Oxford in 2015, Kuala Lumpur in 2016 and Bangkok 2017. Like in previous years, we strive to produce actionable policy takeaways to facilitate the implementation of a sustainable development framework for AEC that benefits all ASEAN. The AEIF 2019 highlights keynote addresses from distinguished speakers and forum on selected sub-themes including business and human rights, rural economic and community-based development, aviation industry, entrepreneurship, trades and investment. There will be parallel sessions to present applied research papers on both days. This ASEAN Economic Integration Forum strives to feature the identification of and proposals for bridging inter- and intra-regional development gaps in the ASEAN region, to contribute to policy making that looks at holistic and bottom-up approach within the region, to promote meaningful discourse on AEC that goes beyond economic imperatives and to highlight the importance of social forces in promoting ASEAN community.