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Impact of the ASEAN Economic Community and implications for Latin America

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Author: Elms, Deborah UN symbol.: LC/TS.2020/148 90 p. Editorial: ECLAC December 2020


The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become one of the most important players in the global trading system. Comprising 10 countries with very diverse income levels, ASEAN is now the world’s fifth largest economy and plays a central role in the so-called “Factory Asia”. This document begins with an overview of the history and institutions of ASEAN, before focusing on one of its three pillars: the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), including a critical assessment of outcomes in the areas of trade in goods, trade in services and investment, among others. The document draws best practices from the experience of ASEAN that may be relevant to other regional arrangements pursuing similar goals, and concludes by considering aspects of importance to Latin America’s ongoing economic integration initiatives.

Table of contents

Abstract .-- Introduction .-- I. Overview of ASEAN .-- II. Unpacking ASEAN’s economic pillar .-- III. Trade in goods .-- IV. Trade facilitation and non-tariff measures .-- V. Assessment of key trade facilitation initiatives .-- VI. Assessment of trade facilitation outcomes .-- VII. Trade in services .-- VIII. Investment .-- IX. E-Commerce and digital trade .-- X. Promotion of people-to-people mobility .-- XI. Infrastructure and connectivity .-- XII. Overview of ASEAN practices in other areas .-- XIII. The path forward for ASEAN .-- XIV. Implications for Latin America.