VIENTIANE, 6 September 2016 – ASEAN Leaders adopted the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025) in Vientiane, Lao PDR today. The MPAC 2025, which succeeds the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2010, focuses on five strategic areas: sustainable infrastructure, digital innovation, seamless logistics, regulatory excellence and people mobility. The MPAC 2025 was developed in consultation with relevant ASEAN Sectoral Bodies and other stakeholders. The remaining initiatives from MPAC 2010 were evaluated and incorporated in the MPAC 2025.

Sustainable Infrastructure: Given that ASEAN needs at least US$110 billion of infrastructure investment each year to support future growth, the MPAC 2025 aims to help investors seize opportunities in sustainable infrastructure by improving project preparations, enhancing infrastructure productivity and supporting cities in adopting sustainable practices.

Digital Innovation: Digital technologies in ASEAN could potentially be worth up to US$625 billion by 2030, which may be derived from increased efficiency, new products and services. Capturing digital innovation requires the establishment of regulatory frameworks for the delivery of new digital services; support for the sharing of best practices on open data; and equipping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with the capabilities to access these new technologies.

Seamless Logistics: Improving logistics competitiveness will ease the movement of goods within the ASEAN community, increasing business opportunities for ASEAN citizens. MPAC 2025 aims to support this by identifying and addressing key bottlenecks on important trade routes in ASEAN.

Regulatory Excellence: ASEAN Member States have reduced tariffs significantly, benefiting consumers in the region. The MPAC focuses on standards harmonisation, mutual recognition and technical regulations, as well as trade-distorting non-tariff measures in order to achieve regulatory excellence.

People Mobility:  The number of tourists from outside ASEAN could reach 150 million by 2025. The MPAC 2025 will focus on providing comprehensive information on travel options and simplifying visa application processes. It will also develop high-quality qualification frameworks in critical vocational occupations, which ASEAN Member States could implement according to their national circumstances, and encourage greater mobility of intra-ASEAN university students.

“The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 is ambitious, but it is also practical. We have designed strong implementation mechanisms to ensure that effective coordination takes place among various agencies and we can see real change happen over the next 10 years,” said H.E. Saleumxay Kommasith, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lao PDR and Chair of ASEAN Coordinating Council which oversees connectivity matters for the regional body.

With a young population, a strategic location and a range of technologies it can leverage, if implemented effectively, the MPAC 2025 will only bring more economic and educational opportunities for the peoples of ASEAN and can prove that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

The Master Plan was prepared with the support of the Australian Government through the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program II (AADCP II).

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For further information on Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, please contact the ASEAN Connectivity Division (email: connectivity@asean.org)

Download the MPAC 2025 Publication Here.

Watch the MPAC 2025 video Here :

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