Competitiveness of the ASEAN Countries

Competitiveness of the ASEAN Countries

Corporate and Regulatory Drivers

New Horizons in International Business series

Edited by Philippe Gugler and Julien Chaisse

In an age of increased necessity for competitiveness of nations and at a time when the world economy is facing recession, this book explores the possible trajectory of ASEAN – arguably one of the most dynamic areas in the world – as a regional economic and political bloc. The expert contributors address the industrial competitiveness of ASEAN and analyse the role of MNEs against the background of the challenges of integration. They illustrate that regional integration will only be a success if ASEAN’s linkages are broadened with global partners through negotiations of Free Trade Agreements. The book concludes that although much still remains to be done, and many promises are still to be unveiled, ASEAN’s ‘coming of age’ is an historic milestone.

Chapter 1: The ASEAN in a New Era: Unveiling the Promises

Julien Chaisse and Philippe Gugler

Subjects: asian studies, asian business, asian economics, business and management, asia business, international business, economics and finance, asian economics, international economics


Julien Chaisse and Philippe Gugler INTRODUCTION The Southeast Asian region is one of the most dynamic areas in the world and for this reason holds much promise. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become a vibrant market with a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 700 billion US dollars. ASEAN is also one of the most diverse areas in the world. This diversity in a land of important contrasts is manifest in numerous ways, including levels of economic development, economic regimes and income. The growing population of 540 million is characterized by a young workforce. Their rising affluence implies strong purchasing power for lifestyle consumer products and an expanding demand for high-quality services and goods. This consumer market is already larger than that of India and of the coastal economies of China. The region has experienced remarkable economic dynamism and is actively engaged in an ambitious scheme of regional integration. Before the recent downturn, economic growth was robust and trade and investment flows soared as a result of increasing international division of labour. However, in the current economic climate, there is a real need for faster regional economic integration to cushion the impact of the global economic downturn. ASEAN will soon face significant challenges since we are entering a very important period in global financial history. There will be a series of global summits to reform the global financial architecture in order to prevent future crises like the one the world has faced since 2008 and to put...

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