The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) established the ASEAN Community in 2015; comprising the ASEAN Political Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and the ASEAN SocioCultural Community. Complementing the establishment of the ASEAN Community was the adoption of the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the three successor Community Blueprints to chart ASEAN’s integration trajectory towards 2025.

The AEC, on which the ASEAN Integration Report (AIR) focuses, was established building on the achievements under the implementation of the first AEC Blueprint (2007-2015) as reported in the inaugural ASEAN Integration Report 2015. Towards 2025, the region’s economic integration agenda is guided by the AEC Blueprint 2025. The AEC Blueprint 2025 envisions five interrelated and mutually reinforcing characteristics, namely: (1) a highly integrated and cohesive economy; (2) a competitive, innovative, and dynamic ASEAN; (3) enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; (4) a resilient, inclusive, people-oriented, and peoplecentred ASEAN; and (5) a global ASEAN. Most notable under the AEC Blueprint 2025 is a greater focus on developing a policy environment that is supportive of innovation that improves productivity in the region, strengthens ASEAN’s participation in global value chains, enhances sectoral cooperation, promotes inclusivity and sustainability – including through support to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) – and encourages a more proactive role in the global economy.

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