ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
The road to the AEC has some bumps
By David Swartzemtruber
Speaking recently in Singapore, Asean Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan said implementation might be Asean's biggest problem in moving toward a successful start.
While agreements with Asean have been ratified by the member states, they have to make that next important step which is to make new national laws that correspond with the agreements. Laws have to be passed to enable the implementation of the agreements, while the respective finance ministries have to allocate the necessary provisions for the plans to be put into effect.
This could be difficult. Many Asean companies came into existence aided by good political connections. New implementation laws could strain those relationships Dr. Surin said the diversity within Asean, is also reflected in the different levels of governance. Problems in implementing integration agreements arise, he said, when there are vested interests, including the interests of "big families".
Dr. Pitsuwan is originally from Thailand, where it has been documented that 120 families, many of them Chinese-Thai families, have significant clout.
As the countdown to Asean draws closer, look at internal political developments within each country to see if implementation is proceeding. Asean countries could be dramatically transformed within the next five years but probably not without stubborn resistance from vested interests.
Letters that do not contain full contact information cannot be published.
Letters become the property of AseanAffairs and may be republished in any format.
They typically run 150 words or less and may be edited
submit your comment in the box below