Global Agenda Council on South-East Asia 2012-2014

 

The challenge

South-East Asia has shown remarkable recovery since the global economic crisis of 2008 – the region’s economy is projected to grow by an average of 5.5% per year between 2013 and 2017, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. To foster the economic revival, South-East Asia aims to form an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community, or AEC, which will be characterized by a single market and production base. The integration process towards creating the AEC, scheduled for 31 December 2015, is proving to be a struggle because of the diverse economic growth levels of the region’s countries. The region also sees a rise in social media use, leading to increased trends of higher connectivity and a greater degree of alienation from social reality among the younger generations.

What the Council is doing about it

The Global Agenda Council on South-East Asia sees the need for dialogue among significant ASEAN business and government leaders to address such vital issues as increasing occurrences of natural disasters, income disparity in the region, regional mobility and energy resources.

At the Summit on the Global Agenda 2013 in Abu Dhabi, the Council continued to focus on the promotion of ASEAN integration. Understanding of the ASEAN integration remains weak in the region, and the Council would like to increase awareness and acceptance of the integration. The Council aims to conduct an analysis of the integration process to identify gaps, and will then provide recommendations to address the identified challenges. Secondly, the Council will analyse the positive and negative implications of ASEAN integration by country and sector. The purpose of the analyses is to provide the general public with a greater understanding of the importance and benefits of having an integrated South-East Asia.

At the 2013 World Economic Forum on East Asia, the Council led two multistakeholder conversations, on ASEAN integration and on Myanmar’s development. One private discussion yielded recommendations from prominent business leaders on how best to accelerate ASEAN integration and a draft proposal for submission to ASEAN business leaders. The second was a roundtable discussion between the international community and Myanmar’s government and businesses on fostering partnerships to address the country’s urgent need for skills and labour.

For the remaining term, the Council will maintain its close collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat and ASEAN business leaders. Council Members will provide policy recommendations for governments to mitigate the negative impacts of ASEAN integration and a value proposition on the benefits of regional integration. The Council is also contemplating other creative methods, such as the design of a new logo or a mascot for ASEAN. 

To get involved please contact

Research Analyst: Karen Wong, Associate, Global Agenda Councils, karen.wong@weforum.org 
Council Manager: Navitri Putri Guillaume, Community Manager, Government Engagement, South East Asia, navitri.putriguillaume@weforum.org 
Forum Lead: Sushant Palakurthi Rao, Senior Director, Head of Asia, sushantpalakhurti.rao@weforum.org 

What we're working on:

Roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009-2015

Beeson, Mark. "Contemporary Southeast Asia"

Severino, Rodolfo C. "Southeast Asia in Search of an ASEAN Community: Insights from the Former ASEAN Secretary-General"

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