The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organisation of ten countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. This popular organization in Asia benefits a lot to the countries.
ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) is an agreement by the member nations of ASEAN concerning local manufacturing in all ASEAN countries. It encourages a higher market competition which allows the countries to develop. AFTA helps ASEAN countries’ products gain access to a regional market that incorporates many substantial advantages Moreover, consumers will benefit from cheaper prices of goods given lower tariffs on a host of raw materials used by the region’s producers.
Furthermore, the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Area (ACIA) will encourage the free flow of investment within ASEAN. The overall goal of the ACIA is to establish a free, open, transparent and integrated investment regime for domestic and international investors throughout the ASEAN region, and the ACIA’s benefits include investment liberalization, non-discrimination, transparency, investor protections, and Investor-State Dispute Settlement.
Besides, ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) provides the broad guidelines for ASEAN countries to progressively improve market access and ensure equal national treatment for services suppliers among them. Under the agreement, ASEAN members are negotiating intra-regional services liberalization in several sectors, including air transport, business services, construction, financial services, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism.
Finally, with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), ASEAN will be a dynamic single market and production base. It may be tough for companies with the competition but consumers will benefit by having access to a cheaper and wider range of goods, services and enjoy more extensive consumer protection. The AEC would create business and job opportunities in member countries which allows free movement of skilled labour within ASEAN countries.
As a conclusion, ASEAN brings tremendous advantages. The world economy has grown up fast and many economic systems have been established under the regional cooperation. The economy integration of ASEAN countries has been brought a new and giant influence. The regional economic corporation has already become a tendency.