Opinions»Opinion 2014

Opinion 2014


The Centre for ASEAN Studies posts on its Website opinions related to ASEAN by persons affiliated with ISEAS or its Centre for ASEAN Studies and also by others. The opinions expressed are their own and not necessarily those of ISEAS or the Centre.

 

Opinions

 

Date: 29 August 2014

Banking integration in ASEAN gathers pace

The East Asia Forum reports on the ASEAN Banking Integration Framework which aims to liberise the banking market by 2020-

"Allowing banks to operate across borders enables them to take advantage of economies of scale to increase efficiency and reduce costs. The entry of regional banks into domestic markets can increase competition, leading to lower prices and a greater variety of banking products and services. Heightened competition may also spur banks to expand into rural areas which are traditionally underserved by banks. Extending banking to the rural poor is an important means of promoting inclusive economic growth in ASEAN..."

Click here for the full article by The East Asia Forum

Date: 25 August 2014

ASEAN economic ministers meeting kicks off in Myanmar

Speaking at the opening of the four-day ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM), Myanmar President U Thein Sein called on the member states to exert collective efforts for the regional economic integration through free flow of goods, free flow of services and investment, free flow of skilled labor and free flow of capital as envisaged in the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) blueprint.

Telling the meeting that Myanmar is giving priority to carrying out the task for small and medium enterprises (SME) development, U Thein Sein said the capacity building programs for the four ASEAN member states -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam under the Initiative of ASEAN Integration (IAI) Phase-2 will contribute to narrowing the development gap among ASEAN member states and to accelerate the regional integration.

Click here for a report of the 46th meeting of economic ministers of ASEAN by the ShanghaiDaily.

Date: 23 August 2014

Indian exports to Asean to touch $280 billion in 10 years: Standard Chartered - The Times of India

The Times of India reports that exports to ASEAN are expected to hit $280 billion in 10 years- an increase of 15%, in a study by Standard Chartered. Six areas with export potential were identified - include Petroleum products, organic chemicals, vehicles (including auto components), pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery and apparel and clothing accessories.

Read more at The Times of India.

Date: 11 August 2014

Updates on the South China Sea dispute at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting

Myanmar says will not take sides in maritime dispute
ChannelNewsAsia reports - "Myanmar has been quick to emphasise a peaceful resolution to any conflict, with President Thein Sein calling for ASEAN to promote a common spirit of peaceful co-existence, harmony and tolerance, in a challenging global environment. He said ASEAN must show its leadership and maintain centrality. This is especially important in this fast changing political and security environment."

To read the full article and a video report by ChannelNewsAsia, click here.

ASEAN urges stepped-up talks as South China Sea tensions grow
The Today newspaper reported on August 11 "A senior US official said ASEAN countries’ concern over China’s maritime actions was at an “all-time high” based on private conversations, though their public statements were more guarded to avoid antagonising China. “We urged all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions that would complicate the situation and undermine peace, stability and security in the South China Sea,” said ASEAN in a communique, following a meeting this weekend in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw."

For the full article by Today, click here.

Date: 10 August 2014

Singapore Airlines - Air New Zealand alliance opens gateway to ASEAN region

"Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed regulatory approval for the alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, describing the initiative as “a game changer” in his meeting with Foreign Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations..."

“The alliance also means more opportunities for New Zealand businesses. There are over 620 million people living in the ASEAN countries, and they are increasingly demanding the high-quality products exported by New Zealand businesses. Two-way merchandise trade amounts to $13 billion annually, and New Zealand’s exports to ASEAN were over $5 billion in the past year. This is set to grow as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement comes fully into effect. Goods exports alone grew by over 20 per cent in the past twelve months. Increased air links will allow New Zealand businesses to continue this trend."

Date: 07 Aug 2014
MH17 likely to be key topic at ASEAN meeting

Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap, lead researcher at ASEAN Studies Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, shared his views with ChannelNewsAsia- "That will be an ideal occasion for Malaysia representing ASEAN to request Russian support for a thorough investigation of the downing of MH17. I think that will be a fair position for ASEAN to take. They will just ask for information, and to encourage (the) Russian foreign minister to share information, because we always want to know from the Russian perspective how they see the situation in Ukraine, how they are going to support investigation of the downing of MH17."

 

Date: 20 Jul 2014

Investigations into MH17 tragedy must not be hindered: ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) says it strongly condemns the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, and expressed shock over the death of 298 people on board.

"ASEAN member states underline that it is imperative that we find out precisely what happened to Flight MH17. We call for a full, independent and transparent investigation into the catastrophe. We emphasise that investigations must not be hindered," the grouping said in a statement released on Sunday (July 20)- Channel News Asia

 

Date: 16 Jul 2014

Asean members must move as one team in peacekeeping mission

Malaysia has proposed that Asean members move as a team in undertaking endeavours such as peacekeeping missions as well as humanitarian work under the banner of the United Nations (UN).

In making the suggestion, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the cooperation between Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam’s defence forces in Malbatt 850-1 peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon could serve as an example and be further expanded in the context of Asean - The Rakyat Post

 

Date: 24 Jun 2014

China likely to take firm line in Asean talks on code of conduct for South China Sea

The South China Morning Post reports that priority will be defending territorial interests in dialogue on code of conduct in disputed waters.

... China will act assertively at a regional meeting to discuss a code of conduct for the South China Sea amid rising tensions with its Southeast Asian neighbours over disputed waters, observers say.

Date: 19 Jun 2014

Rising Asean consumption to drive electronics exports

The Bangkok Post reports that rising consumption in ASEAN is leading to a drive in electronic exports:

... "We've seen opportunities growing, particularly in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, where demand for electricity use has surged in line with increasing infrastructure development," he said. At present, the US ranks as the top export market, consuming 17% of total exports.

Date: 12 May 2014

Govt succeeds in keeping Rohingya off ASEAN Summit agenda

ISEAS Senior Fellow Malcolm Cook shares his views with the Myanmar Times- "... these increased tensions had put Myanmar, as a first-time chair of ASEAN, in a difficult position but could also help deflect unwanted attention from other issues, such as Rakhine State."

Date: 14 February 2014

Cultural divides: The root cause of unrest

ASC's Rodolfo Severino shares his views with the Straits Times on cultural divides as a key driver of unrest:

"WHAT do the current political unrest, economic divisions, social turmoil, outright insurgency or civil war in Thailand, the Philippines, Ukraine, Egypt, Tunisia, Syria and other Arab countries have in common?"

"...all of the current upheavals, some violent, others merely unsettling, can be best summarised as being caused by cultural divides or gaps. These occur between the forces of modernisation and those of tradition, or between the educated elite, mostly in the cities, and the teeming masses, mostly in the countryside."

Date: 03 February 2014

Let’s be honest about what ASEAN can and cannot do

"ASEAN is still far from being economically integrated as a region. And there is little prospect that it will be fully integrated, as envisioned, in the near future, much less by 2015. But whether or not the AEC is achieved by 2015 should not be held against the literal rendering of the specific measures to realise ASEAN economic integration, as provided for in the Strategic Schedule appended to the AEC Blueprint. Rather, the plan to realise the AEC by 2015 should be looked at as a re-affirmation of the ASEAN leaders’ aspiration for, and commitment to, efficiency in trading, market openness and links with the international community. The year 2015 should be considered not as a hard-and-fast target, in which ASEAN, its objectives and the way it conducts business are suddenly transformed. Rather, it should be regarded as a benchmark to help measure ASEAN’s progress toward regional economic integration." 
- Mr Rodolfo C Severino, Head, ASEAN Studies Centre

Click the headline to read the article published by the East Asia Forum

 

Date: 27 January 2014

How much can ASEAN do for a South China Sea code of conduct?

"...those who expect the ASEAN–China discussions to result in some kind of breakthrough that will lead quickly to a resolution are bound to be disappointed. There are several reasons for this, all having to do with fundamental differences between China and ASEAN on a variety of issues pertaining to a proposed CoC for the South China Sea."The Head of the ASC, Rodolfo Severino, shared with the East Asia Forum, how much ASEAN can do to push for the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea

Click the headline to read the article.

 

Date: 21 January 2014

[ISEAS Perspective] Is APEC's Relevance Fading?

APEC faces a number of challenges internally such as slow progress towards regional integration and externally from other regional bodies. Is APEC fading in relevance? What are some of the challenges the body needs to address?

Click the headline to read the Perspective issue.

 

Date: 20 January 2014

Myanmar in the ASEAN Chair Challenges and opportunities

Professor Robert Taylor, a Fellow at ISEAS shares shares his take on the challenges and opprtunities Myanmar faces as it chairs ASEAN this year. Click to read the full article from Mizzima.

 

Date: 05 January 2014

ASEAN: Look Beyond 2015

Mr Rodolfo C Severino, Head, ASEAN Studies Centre shared with The Straits Times and Asia One on his views of the ASEAN Economic Community. Perhaps 2015 should be seen not as a goal in itself but as milestone for something bigger? 

To read the full article, please click on the headline.

 

 

 

 

 

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