The private sector is the cornerstone of the new architecture of interdependence among East Asian economies, and between East Asia and the global economy at large. As a key stakeholder in regional and global supply chains, the participation and collaboration of the private sector are crucial to the creation of a strong foundation for the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

The AEC will continue to foster public-private sector engagement (PPE) to improve the coherence, transparency and synergies of government policies and business actions across industries and sectors in the ASEAN region. Private sector inputs and partnership are essential not only in designing regional strategies and initiatives, but also in identifying problems in realising regional integration as the foundation for the AEC.

Recognizing the need to engage the business community in the process of building a dynamic AEC, ASEAN Leaders have engaged actively in dialogues with the private sector at the sidelines of ASEAN Summits. Various ASEAN forums and activities have been created for the participation of the private sector, such as the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) consultations with chambers of commerce and industry associations in the region, as well as with foreign business councils based in ASEAN. Engagement with the private sector has been further intensified, at both the senior officials’ and sectoral bodies’ levels either on a regular or ad hoc basis. In this regard, Rules of Procedures for Private Sector Engagement has also been developed to ensure more effective Public-Private Sector Engagement.

Regular (annual) dialogues have been held between the ASEAN Economic Ministers and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) as well as between ASEAN bodies and the representatives of industry associations and business councils from ASEAN and Dialogue Partner countries. These private-sector entities include the East Asia Business Council (EABC), the US-ASEAN Business Council (US-ABC), EU-ASEAN Business Council and the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA). Such dialogues between ASEAN and private sector representatives have produced several important recommendations and policy options in support of more effective ASEAN economic integration.

Public-private participations in expositions and trade fairs have also taken place, such as the ASEAN-China Expo (CAEXPO) and the ASEAN-China Business and Investment Summit (CABIS) in Nanning, China, the ASEAN-India Business Fair (AIBF) in New Delhi, India, and the ASEAN-EU Business Summit. The expositions and trade fairs presented opportunities for ASEAN businesses, particularly the micro, small and medium enterprieses (MSMEs) to showcase their products and explore the enormous business opportunities and potential markets within ASEAN and outside the region.

Plans are now under way to further promote cooperation among ASEAN bodies, private-sector bodies and regional and international business communities, especially those with trade and investment activities in ASEAN.

For more information:

Competition, Consumer Protection and Intellectual Property Rights Division

Ms. Lai Peng Yap (yap@asean.org)

Links:

AEC Information for Businesses

Building an ASEAN Economic Community Together

Video of ASEAN Building an Economic Community Together

List of Private Sector-Business Councils in ASEAN

AEC Handbook for Business

China-ASEAN Business Council

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry