The Regionalisation of Laws and Policy on Foreign Investment
ASEAN Member States value the growth and development dividends that can flow from increased economic integration. There is a consensus, reflected in ACIA, that cross-border investment has a positive role to play in all ten ASEAN Member States and that investors should be encouraged to maintain and expand their investments throughout the region. Likewise, there is hope that more investors will emerge in the coming years. This is the background to ACIA and goes a long way towards explaining why it offers potentially significant advantages for businesses doing business across the region. ACIA facilitates the progressive liberalisation of investment in ten potentially profitable sectors, including: manufacturing; agriculture; fishery; forestry; mining and related services. In other words, ACIA’s investment liberalisation initiatives comprehensively consider primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. In liberalised sectors, ACIA commits ASEAN Member States to treating new investors and investments according to the principles of National treatment and Most-Favoured-Nation treatment, discussed above. Limitations on the nationality of senior management and boards of directors are also reduced under ACIA. For example, through ACIA, AMS will be increasing its openness to cross-border exploration, production and servicing in the oil and gas industry. There will also be fewer hurdles for cross-border supply chains in the textile industry with raw materials being harvested in one ASEAN Member State and processed in another so that a garment can be produced in a third ASEAN Member State.
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