ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
AEC will bring in more investments: exec
THE establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) will attract more investors in the region as the integrated regional economy is expected to bring more certainty and enhance investment return prospects, a senior banking executive said yesterday.
The AEC will “potentially improve the return prospects and reduces risk prospects,” said Tim Gardener, global head of institutional client group at the French multinational investment banking firm AXA.
In an interview held at the sidelines of the 10th Annual Brunei Darussalam Roundtable 2014, Gardener said the AEC will “go beyond just free trade” and have a common set of rules designed to improve the economies within the community.
He said these rules will also help reduce any political risks with regard to investing in the region.
“The more you feel safe that you’re not going to lose something, the more you’re inclined to invest,” Gardener told The Brunei Times.
He said AXA believes Asia and ASEAN will continue to post strong growth.
“We (AXA) are investing money in Asia. We are doing it because we think (the region )is going to become part of our business on a medium-term basis,” said Gardener.
ASEAN countries have pledged to merge their economies into a single market by the end of 2015 by promoting free movement of goods, investment, services and manpower.
Tariffs and non-tariff barriers are being pushed down and are supposed to be eliminated eventually.
However, less developed ASEAN economies such as Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos rely heavily on tariffs for government revenue and maintain protectionist trade policies.
ASEAN economic ministers have also acknowledged that as the deadline for the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 looms, they in the region face the challenge of effectively communicating the importance of an integrated regional economy to the public.
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