ASEAN EMINENT PERSONS GROUP – VISION 2020

§1: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The EPG-Vision 2020 was convened in June 1999, with terms of reference that included developing a plan for a peaceful and stable Southeast Asia, making recommendations to create vibrant economies in ASEAN, and examining how to build a community of caring societies, as well as an outward looking ASEAN.

The EPG had five meetings in the eighteen months given to produce the report. In the Bangkok and Manila meetings, it heard several experts on the political, economic and social situations in ASEAN, and evaluated recommendations from them on matters that pertain to the relevance and welfare of ASEAN in the long-term.

What became very clear to the EPG members is the fact that ASEAN has been facing criticism of irrelevance both internally and externally, especially in its failure to respond collectively to the financial crisis of 1997-99. Doubt therefore was evident in the collective readiness and will of ASEAN states to meet even sterner challenges in the 21st century, namely the twin challenges of globalisation and the transformation of traditional economies to the “knowledge-based” economies.

We are convinced that for ASEAN to survive and overcome future crises of the type that swept through the region in recent years, the peoples of ASEAN must themselves be involved, i.e., take ownership, of the ASEAN Vision 2020, and that ASEAN matters should not only be the prerogative of governments, but also of businesses, the civil society and ultimately, the people. We believe that the long-term aim has to be the realisation of human security and development in the whole ASEAN region.

To this end, we adopt the strategy embodied in the six sets of recommendations to internalise ASEAN values and goals across the board. We recognise however that the paramount undertaking by all ASEAN states should be to create and maintain stable, strong and complementary economies without which any social or political progress would be impeded or even nullified. ASEAN must also aspire to be a strong part of the global network of trading nations.

Our first set of recommendations therefore deals with financial issues, followed by recommendations on trade and investment. We see careful and transparent management of financial institutions as a prerequisite of other economic initiatives. We see the vital importance of pursuing market liberalisation at the fastest possible pace. We also see the importance of having ASEAN institutions that embrace best practices, not only from the region, but globally, and for the businessmen and officials to be trained in the best practices that would withstand scrutiny and earn the respect of their counterparts in ASEAN and elsewhere.

We recognise the different stages of economic development in ASEAN states. It is imperative, however, that the more developed economies should be allowed to seek further development, while assisting the less developed to higher levels of economic development. In this way, ASEAN member states can progress together and would not be hampered in asserting its position in the world.

We note that in the long-term, much thought has also to be devoted to social and political problems. The main social problems are the dynamics of population management (including aging and migration), health and capacity building. We must tackle international crime and corruption, and set up strong and capable social and civil institutions. Businesses must be encouraged to expand within ASEAN, and to assume a social role of caring for the people, especially the ones in need. Educational cooperation must go beyond the universities or tertiary institutions; it must include an active part in the training and re-training of the workforces to ensure their continuing involvement in the development of ASEAN.

We recommend a series of measures to raise the level of awareness about ASEAN among the peoples of ASEAN. These measures should be put into effect as soon as possible, as it would take many years for the ASEAN’s values and goals to be internalised.

Finally, we reiterate the need for ASEAN Leaders to take charge of the ASEAN initiatives to create a dynamic and competitive ASEAN, as well as a caring and responsive one. We call for the strengthening of various external relationships that are already in place. And last but not least, we call for the strengthening of the ASEAN Secretariat to pursue more effectively the goals of ASEAN.

We submit below our six sets of Recommendations for your consideration.

Recommendations (Set 1: Financial)

ASEAN should take an active lead in building a regional financial architecture in East Asia, which can be a positive building block towards a new global financial architecture by:

  • Building on the best practices in ASEAN, particularly in exchange rate management, which strikes a balance between stability and flexibility;
  • Expanding arrangements to share experience and deepen dialogue on currency baskets and other practices, which can pave the way for greater cooperation in the financial and monetary fields, such as currency swaps and other currency arrangements in our region.

ASEAN economies should cooperate more closely with one another in international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

  • ASEAN economies should work closely together in the IFIs with a view towards belonging to the same constituency or closely related constituencies.

ASEAN should cooperate closely with one another in developing their capital markets, with a view towards creating a single ASEAN stock market. Current measures to facilitate this may include:

  • Networking arrangements among stock exchanges in ASEAN economies;
  • Promoting cross-investments among these stock exchanges.

A private sector driven ASEAN Finance Institute should be established to promote networking arrangements, which complement and expand government initiatives in:

  • Corporate governance;
  • Banking sector development and strengthening;
  • Capital market development;
  • Macro-economic risk management;
  • Economic monitoring and surveillance.

The ASEAN Finance Institute should also undertake capacity building programmes in these fields.

Recommendations (Set 2: Trade and Investment)

ASEAN should move quickly beyond AFTA and to accelerate the implementation of the AIA, to make ASEAN an even more competitive and attractive economic area through:

  • Adopting common trade facilitation standards and practices;
  • Adopting of common investment promotion programmes, which enable ASEAN economies to complement one another;
  • Accelerating the realisation of AFTA, AIA, e-ASEAN, and the conclusion of negotiations concerning services liberalisation, in particular the adoption of an “open skies” policy in ASEAN;
  • Encouraging mergers and cooperation among the ASEAN businesses, which in turn would strengthen their global competitiveness;
  • Promoting training and capacity building programmes and sharing of best practices, particularly in all key aspects of trade facilitation and investment promotion.

Recommendations (Set 3: Social, Educational and Cultural)

ASEAN adopts a policy of promoting ASEAN community spirit among all peoples of ASEAN by (among others):

  • Setting up and promoting linkages among ASEAN cultural centres;
  • Setting up an ASEAN Volunteer Corps;
  • Renaming the SEA Games as “ASEAN Games”;
  • Enlisting the assistance of the media and business corporations in promoting the ASEAN community spirit.
  • ASEAN should make a strong concerted effort to promote the use of English as the common working language so that exchanges among ASEAN institutions, people and businesses will be greatly facilitated;
  • ASEAN members should develop more and broader linkages among educational institutions at all levels;
  • ASEAN members with established common high standards in education, especially in science, mathematics and social sciences, assist other ASEAN members in improving and developing their curricula, with a view to raising the standards of education in the whole of ASEAN.
  • ASEAN members should prioritise on setting up programmes and training institutes, especially for the “knowledge based economy”.
  • ASEAN members that already have such institutes provide assistance to the other members on request;
  • Such institutes should be networked to provide mutual assistance.
  • ASEAN should promote and facilitate the spread and strengthening of community-based savings, micro-credit loan schemes and development funds. These facilities could operate through peer pressure and under community surveillance, so that ordinary people who otherwise have no access to loans from commercial financial institutions can have access to funds for their small business ventures.
  • ASEAN members should immediately address and formulate programmes to arrest the worsening condition of the poor in ASEAN through:
  • The involvement of the business sector and civil society in fighting poverty;
  • Capacity building; health care and assistance; provision of community-based micro-credit facilities.

Recommendation (Set 4: Health)

ASEAN states should cooperate in the promotion of health and hygiene to ensure that good international practices are adopted. ASEAN should also train personnel to provide health assistance to all, especially those in remote areas.

The ASEAN Leaders should initiate programmes and encourage all member states to immediately launch and expand effective immediate and long-term strategies for HIV/AIDS education, prevention, voluntary & confidential testing and counselling & treatment of their citizens.

Recommendation (Set 5: External Relations)

ASEAN member states should strive to:

  • Allocate the highest priority to the development of ASEAN;
  • Maintain and strengthen their role in directing and guiding the ARF;
  • Influence developments in the global arena and thus maximising benefits to ASEAN;
  • Ensure that ASEAN is “globalisation ready”;
  • Taking proactive action for engagement at all levels (International, regional and bilateral levels).

Recommendation (Set 6: Institutions)

The ASEAN Leaders should take charge and direct ASEAN activities, with a view to realising the ASEAN Vision 2020.

There is also a need to develop other institutions so as to:

  • Facilitate and provide more opportunities for exchanges and networking of different groups/professions in ASEAN;
  • Encourage the role of civil society in ASEAN, especially their participation in the development of an ASEAN community.
  • All public and private institutions in ASEAN should be urged to play a positive role in promoting an ASEAN community spirit by expanding their cooperation with their ASEAN counterparts.

The ASEAN Secretariat should be given sufficient resources to meet the challenges of an enlarged ASEAN, and of an increased workload, especially with regard to implementing the various plans designed to realise the goals in the ASEAN Vision 2020.

END OF SUMMARY

ASEAN EMINENT PERSONS GROUP ON VISION

2020 – THE PEOPLES’ ASEAN

§2: INTRODUCTION & BASIC CONCEPTS

1. Background

The ASEAN Eminent Persons Group (hereinafter “EPG”) on Vision 2020 was an initiative from the 6th ASEAN Summit in Hanoi in December 1998. The EPG was expected to tap the expertise from the private sector and the academics for fresh insights on how to realise Vision 2020, (hereinafter “V2020″) a far-sighted statement adopted by the ASEAN leaders in 1998.

The EPG was inaugurated in Singapore on 8th June 1999. By this time, the ASEAN leaders had in fact realized one of its long desired goals – that of having the ten Southeast Asian countries in the Association. Cambodia became the 10th member of ASEAN on 30 April 1999. ASEAN therefore had the satisfaction of moving into the 21st century with the primary task of securing membership of all ten Southeast Asian countries accomplished. Of course, with the enhanced ASEAN come additional problems and responsibilities.

The achievements of ASEAN over three decades have been documented in many reports. The main achievement has unquestionably been to secure for the region, an unprecedented period of peace and stability that allowed member-states to develop and grow, both politically and economically. ASEAN has also matured as a regional group, with numerous ways of co-operation being explored and put into effect.

Indeed, before the onset of the financial crisis in 1997, several member-countries were regarded as being an important part of the East Asian miracle, and ASEAN itself regarded as a model regional organisation growing in influence.

The EPG met for the first time in vastly different circumstances. The so-called financial crisis had rocked the foundations of several economies, previously thought to be economies capable of robust growth well into the 21st century. The crisis had given rise to political unrest, and disagreements among member states. One view that became more plausible as the crisis deepened, was that ASEAN was unable to handle the crisis, and that as member states’ disagreements among themselves became more pronounced, ASEAN was seen to be in danger of becoming irrelevant, even threatening to fall apart. There is also no doubt that ASEAN’s standing in the international community has been adversely affected by the crisis, and the bright vision of ASEAN’s future is now dimmer than what it was before the onset of the crisis.

The EPG is of the view that any long-term development of ASEAN must therefore take into account the need to build strong links and institutions in ASEAN that will establish its continuing relevance and ability to withstand storms of such magnitude in future. Quite apart from crises, the need has become even stronger, as the Association has now increased its membership, thus enlarging itself in terms of geographical area, as well as in population. The ten member-countries all exhibit different stages of political and economic development – this will reinforce the view that ASEAN needs to develop new institutions and practices in order to stay cohesive and relevant in the 21st century. Its international esteem and influence will only rise, if it can be seen, as stated in V2020, to be “a concert of Southeast Asian nations”, that is, ten nations acting in concert, with common intentions and resolve.

With an enhanced-ASEAN comes additional responsibilities and challenges – the need to foster an ASEAN consciousness and spirit among the governments, businesses, civic institutions and peoples amidst different political systems and economies will present the greatest challenge.

2. Terms of Reference

The terms of reference, like the Vision 2020 statement, are wide. These are as follows:

  • To develop a plan for a peaceful and stable Southeast Asia as well as to fulfil the vision of the ASEAN Regional Forum as an established means for confidence-building and preventive diplomacy and ASEAN as an effective force for peace, justice and moderation in the Asia Pacific and in the world.
  • To identify and recommend practical measures to develop ASEAN into a stable prosperous and highly competitive Economic Region in which there is a free flow of goods, services and investments, a free flow of capital, equitable economic development and reduced poverty and socio-economic disparities.
  • To examine how ASEAN could build a community of caring societies with a common regional identity, a socially cohesive and caring ASEAN, a technologically competitive ASEAN and a clean and green ASEAN.
  • To examine the current state of ASEAN’s role in regional and international affairs and recommend practical measures to build an outward-looking ASEAN playing a pivotal role in the international fora and an ASEAN having an intensified relationship with its Dialogue Partners.

The Terms of Reference also stated that the EPG should consider ways and means to implement the Hanoi Plan of Action (HPA).

3. Approach

We referred to the need to build strong links and institutions among the ASEAN-10, if V2020 is to be realized. In this, we must emphasize that the links must be strong, not just at government-to-government level. It should permeate to all sectors, right down to the level of people-to-people. Without support at all levels, the ASEAN vision would wax and wane with changing circumstances, and consequently, so would its standing in the world.

The peoples of ASEAN must know more about ASEAN, and embrace it. Currently, there is a very low level of ASEAN awareness among the peoples of ASEAN. Most contact is government-to-government, and on a lesser scale, business-to-business. It is our intention to make recommendations that we believe would bring ASEAN peoples closer to each other.

In view of the “multi-sectored” approach that we are advocating, we decided to use a broader concept, that of “human security and development” to describe the general thrust adopted by the EPG – we are not concerned with “political security” or “economic security” or “civic security” as distinct problems – rather, we are concerned with all of them, as components of “human security and development”.

We have decided however to take a less detailed look at ASEAN’s external relations as we understand that there are at least two other groups working on ASEAN+3 relations. However, we believe that in order for some of the recommendations to work, we will need to mention the importance of assistance from the non-member countries that nonetheless have the interests of ASEAN member-states at heart.

4. “Multi-Sector” approach and “Human Security and Development”

The present approach to ASEAN matters is characterized by treating ASEAN relations into several discrete categories – political security, economics, social matters, etc. We believe that sound policy recommendations, especially long-term ones, should be “multi-sectored”. By this we mean that the concept of “human security and development” should take into account three elements – the political element, the economic element and the civic element.

The concept of human security and development allows us to be mindful that in making any recommendation, we should take into account the advancement of three goals envisaged in the Vision statement -

  • that ASEAN should act in concert in common issues (political element),
  • that each member-state be a partner in the region’s dynamic development (economics element), and
  • that each member-state should prioritize on building strong, responsible and caring societies (civics element).

We realise that this is different from the current sectoral approach, where each sector’s development is not aligned with the others. However, we are not saying that this approach is to be used for all policy-making. But in deliberating on V2020, this is a valid methodology – we would be making broad recommendations that have to be followed by more detailed implementation plans, if accepted. In making broad recommendations, we must necessarily be considering with a broad sweep the value of the recommendations vis-à-vis the V2020.

Using the concept of “human security and development”, we underscore that the ultimate aim of all our endeavours is to improve the quality of life of ASEAN’s peoples in all its aspects. We recognise the pre-eminence of economic development as the engine that drives up the quality of life for ASEAN’s peoples, and we see in the Hanoi Plan of Action, for instance, the emphasis on economic development and trade to be an example of the close co-operation among ASEAN countries in policies and processes that would add significantly to the quality of life among the ASEAN peoples, if properly and quickly implemented.

5. Other Major Considerations

While human security and development is the ultimate goal in our Vision 2020, to realise the vision requires us to also state several premises that condition the extent to which the vision can be realised. These are:

  • Supranational vs. national interests;
  • Globalisation vs. Localization;
  • Government vs. Civil society – Private Sector

6. Supranational vs. National Interests

It is not surprising that comparisons have been made between ASEAN and the European Union, the latter of which has set up several supra-national bodies such as the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Court of Justice, to enact and enforce policies and rules that affect the whole Union. We strongly feel that such comparisons must be treated with caution. ASEAN should fashion its own institutions appropriate to its place in the world, and be aware of each member state’s conditions and aspirations.

In line with the caution just expressed, we also note that so far, ASEAN governments have preferred processes to institutional structures. This obviously is based on a pragmatic, non-interventionist approach to domestic concerns, while a vast number of meetings are initiated among different groups of officials on matters of common interest. But this large number of meetings must itself raise the issue whether there should not be some institutions in place, at least to ensure a more coherent approach.

As ASEAN has grown, not just in size but also in relations with each other, it is necessary to consider whether the current practices are workable especially in terms of co-ordination, accountability and coherence in policy-making and implementation. With the large number of meetings among so many different sets of officials, getting a coherent overall picture of what is happening, even in the smaller ASEAN administrations, must be a most trying task.

There is also the concern that progress in ASEAN programmes is hindered by lack of co-ordination, both at the international and national level. In the case of large countries, there may also be difficulty co-ordinating between national and sub national or regional agencies.

7. Globlisation vs. Localisation:

One additional dimension that requires particular attention is what we may call “the dilemma of globalisation vs. localization” – new institutional responses are required to take care of these two related, but contradicting policy-determining trends. On the one hand, globalisation imposes demands for outward looking institutions and processes, so that ASEAN governments and businesses can network with counterpart organisations beyond their borders. On the other hand, localization requires governments to be mindful of the needs of the various regions under them, and to allow for sub-national developments so as to maximize the use of one’s national resources. This problem is most acute in larger countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines.

Globalisation involves the gradual integration of the world’s economies, and requires national governments to reach out to international partners as the best way to trade, manage financial flows, and the global environment. National governments will need to seek partnerships with other national governments, international organisations, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and multinational organisations such as ASEAN.

But this essentially outward looking process is counter-balanced by another process that is taking root in many countries of ASEAN. It is “localisation”. This concept refers to the perceived need for the people sector to be more involved in government. In larger countries, it also emerges as an assertion for greater autonomy and recognition of regional identities.

There is no doubt that globalisation brings new opportunities, such as access to markets and technology transfer. This in turn promise increased productivity and higher living standards. But globalisation is also often criticized because it is said to cause instability and unwelcome changes, such as exposing workers to competition threatening their jobs. It also weakens banks and even entire economies when flows of foreign capital engulf them.

Localisation is acclaimed for raising levels of participation in decision-making and for giving people more of a chance to shape the context of their own lives. There is the call to decentralise government, and to allow more decisions to be made at sub-national levels. But while localisation encourages responsive and efficient governance, it can jeopardize macro-economic stability.

In our view, both globalisation and localisation are important to the development of ASEAN. ASEAN must be actively plugged into the economies of the world. ASEAN states must equally encourage and motivate their peoples, which require more participatory decision-making to foster a sense of commitment for the common purpose.

As globalisation becomes a specific goal for each of the ASEAN nations, it is important to develop the local institutions that would enable the people to stay cohesive in the midst of such dramatic changes.

8. Regionalisation

Indeed, one may mention another concept that is relevant – that of regionalisation. ASEAN is seen as the regional organisation for South-east Asia. But the question has been asked, “Are regional organisations important in a world that has embraced globalisation?”

Today, we see the need to spell out the difference between regionalisation and globalisation, because these two ideas are not exactly in tandem – the demands of globalisation may actually lead to a re-consideration of the value of regional organisations. Individual countries may bypass regional organisations to meet the demands of globalisation. For example, bilateral free trade agreements or transfer or technology agreements may detract from the regional interests of ASEAN. We do not of course challenge the sovereign right of individual countries to do this, but this does illustrate that regionalisation and globalisation are distinct concepts that can pull in different directions.

Our recommendations will necessarily keep in view these three concepts, and the different demands that are exacted by each in ASEAN’s development.

9. Role of Government vs. People & Private Sector

Government, supported by the civil service, is usually the main engine propelling development in the ASEAN countries today. Increasingly, however, there is a realisation that excessive governmental intervention especially in the economic development of a country may hamper the growth of healthy and efficient business organisations that are privately run. State-owned enterprises (or SOEs) are in the long run not much better. Government therefore must build healthy alliances with the private sector more than ever, allowing the latter to blossom by providing a commercial and legal environment that encourages and sustains growth.

At the same time, Government must also allow, or even encourage the growth of a “people sector”, often referred to as “civil society”. In short, Government must harness the power of the people to work together to develop social cohesion and economic prosperity. For example, in the case of economic institutions, it is important to establish and maintain a healthy relationship among Government, employers and the worker unions. Avoiding industrial strife, improving the working environment, re-training workers in relevant skills are strategies that would go a long way to ensuring sustained economic growth, as well as to reduce the need to rely on State assistance or enhanced social safety nets. An active “civil society” improves the efficiency of the public and private sector, as problems are surfaced and discussed with a view to mutually benefiting all sectors.

We are therefore conscious of the need to ensure that our recommendations should be seen to encourage the development of healthy and responsive “civil societies” in ASEAN, and that we should avoid recommending measures that would not have the desired effects of capability building; that is, of human resource development. For instance, to reduce poverty, we should look at providing greater opportunities to the poor, who are usually also capability-poor. We should see how they should be provided with the means to improve their health, educational and income levels, and to equip them with skills that would make them part of a country’s assets, sharing in creating wealth for the country, rather than expending it.

10 The New ASEAN – The Peoples’ ASEAN: Towards Realising Vision 2020

In adopting the title “The New ASEAN – The Peoples’ ASEAN: Towards Realising Vision 2020″ we would like to emphasise several things. The first is that ASEAN-10 is a very different regional group from the ASEAN group without the newer members of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. ASEAN-10 brings with it new opportunities, as well as new problems.

Certainly, we can look at ASEAN-10 now as a region with great potential. After all it has a total population of over 500 million, a total area of 4.5m square kilometres, a combined GDP of US$735 billion, and total trade of US$720 billion. By 2020, the projected population will be close to 660 million in ASEAN-10. The opportunities for intra-ASEAN trade, but at the same time, the responsibilities for creating caring and economically strong societies must be great.

The title also reflects the approach hitherto described, namely that the ultimate aim is to promote human security and development in the whole region. In order to have an appreciation of the size of the problem, however, it is necessary to point to several important indicators relating to population growth, trends vis-à-vis youth and aging populations, economic performance, poverty, education and environment, as these are relevant to our deliberations.

Population size: firstly, in absolute numbers, the ASEAN states are projected to have an increase in population from the present 521m to 660m in 2020, that is, an increase of 139m (or over 25%) in 20 years. The rate of growth for the ASEAN countries, as projected by the UN, is as follows:

a. Table Showing Rates of Population Growth

Untitled1

Population policy is a particularly important matter worldwide, but probably even more important in ASEAN. On the one hand, in the case of some developing economies, sizeable increases in population may put severe burdens on the economy that would in turn delay the development of such economies. On the other hand, where the birth-rate falls to such an extent that a population is unable to reproduce itself, it presents equally difficult problems, if not more, to sustain economic growth without relying on a large foreign worker component. However, population policy is an issue for each state to deal with. The EPG will only mention this as a factor that may affect the rate at which we can realise V2020.

Youth and age considerations: in any long term view of ASEAN, it must be necessary to appreciate the different groups in the populations of member states that would be the subject of our aim to provide human security and development. In the case of youth, problems such as education (or more specifically, capability building), child labour, family formation and job mobility come to the fore whereas for an aging population, it would be issues such as structural unemployment, health and sufficient income during retirement that need addressing.

Underlying these population trends, there will be other common matters – such as social cohesion (between the old and the young, and multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious considerations), and a physical environment for healthy living. The last is especially important, given trends such as urbanisation and environment degradation especially in the forests of ASEAN.

Science, Technology and the “New” Economies: it is now conventional wisdom to say that the way forward for any country is to embrace the trends of globalisation and with it, the increasing demands of knowledge-based economies. In such “new” economies, the importance of scientific and technological expertise cannot be over-emphasised. To remain competitive, not only must the institutes of higher learning be in the forefront in producing a sophisticated workforce capable of servicing high-tech industries, the research expertise must be comparable to, if not better than, the best in the developed world. This objective requires not just massive injection of capital for research, but also a concerted effort to network with the best in the world.

The task is an awesome one for those emerging economies, which still need to plug into the worldwide economic grid. Increasingly, governments are becoming unimportant, because they can no longer hope to control the globalisation of finance and business. As companies can move quickly to advantageous locations, and play countries off against one another, governments will become increasingly sidelined in the management of economies. A united ASEAN is a pre-condition of it remaining relevant, let alone geared up to face the changes wrought by globalisation and the knowledge-based economy.

We recognise that not all ASEAN countries are primed to participate fully in such an economic environment. To understand the enormity of the tasks that lay ahead, we highlight the differences between the traditional economies and the so-called new knowledge-based economies:

Table showing Differences in Economies:

Untitled2

In a paper that in part examines the readiness of Asian countries to participate in the “new” knowledge-based economies, only five ASEAN countries were listed (Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia). More significantly, Hong Kong and Taiwan are listed ahead of the ASEAN countries, with Korea, China and Japan after Singapore. In other words, it may be argued that a better network of nations may be built around the economies that are ready for the challenges of the globalisation and “knowledge-based economies”.

However strong that argument may be in economic terms, we believe that ASEAN should be the primary entity in this region. All countries in ASEAN are linked physically, and share a common sense of post-colonial development after World War II. Much has been put into developing the ASEAN processes and, just as importantly, much commitment has been given by the Heads of Government towards making ASEAN a region of growing geopolitical significance. But there is no doubt that the links between ASEAN and its neighbours, China, Japan and Korea are of great significance, and may be greatly influential in determining whether ASEAN can realise its Vision more quickly or not.

To sum up the approach, in order to realise V2020, we need to emphasise:

  • The keeping of the national identities in each ASEAN country, but with an “outward looking will” to act in concert on policies that will promote human security and development in the region; in a phrase, “10 Cultures – One ASEAN”.
  • The acceptance of the practical reality that ASEAN economies are in different stages of development, and that there should be a coherent approach based on this diversity to promote the economic aims of ASEAN – that is, we accept that the member states with more developed economies should continue to pursue their economic goals in a global setting, while those that are not as developed would set in place “a catch-up” strategy supported by the more developed member states.
  • The acceptance that while economic measures constitute the primary engines to drive the quest for realising V2020, the highest goal is the provision of human security and development for the peoples of ASEAN.
  • The need to be aware of the tasks imposed by the twin engines of globalisation and the so-called “knowledge-based economy”, which will render it difficult for ASEAN to be seen as a “concert of nations” due to the difference in the economies of member states.
  • The need to be aware of the risks posed by demographic factors such as overpopulation or an aging population. Other factors to be taken into account are the quality of governance, which includes the legal systems, and the role of “civil society” in a world that is rapidly embracing globalisation.
  • The need to encourage and maintain a high standard of governance in the public and private sector, embodying high standards of transparency, and combating the problems of corruption in all its forms, and on all levels.

In all these endeavours, it is important to encourage the development of suitable institutions and processes in the expanded ASEAN, so that there can be some coherence and order in the midst of a plethora of meetings, summits, programmes and processes. The ASEAN Secretariat will no doubt continue to play an increasing role, for which it must be provided with adequate resources to do so effectively.

We take the view that the V2020 statement, excellent though it is, is too broad and utopian in scope. We must prioritise as to what we can hope to achieve in the period of roughly two decades. The underlying themes we adopt are: “Human Security & Development” and “The Peoples’ ASEAN”.

ASEAN’s relevance lies in :

  • Empowering the Peoples of ASEAN;
  • Empowering Civil Society in ASEAN;
  • Involving and Improving Businesses in ASEAN matters;
  • Consolidating the roles of ASEAN institutions;
  • Consolidating and Expanding ASEAN’s External Relations

The guiding/fundamental principle: there must be a ground-up approach, which requires :

  • Facilitating ASEAN’s governments to realise the vision
  • Promoting people-to-people networks with an inclusive approach
  • Promoting ASEAN consciousness among all the peoples with a view to building an ASEAN community
  • Involving the business sector in the development of ASEAN institutions.

All ASEAN states must realise that a multi-polar and multi-sectoral participation to community building with government providing a facilitating framework is the way to go. The role of government is to set a clear policy statement to provide the framework and support for programmes that would empower the different sectors as mentioned above. In pursuing the aims of human security and development, we seek to achieve personal, national and regional resilience/security, particularly with respect to:

  • Individual rights and civic responsibilities;
  • Gender equality;
  • Religious tolerance and racial harmony;
  • Reduction of poverty and the more equitable distribution of wealth;
  • Employment and training opportunities;
  • Educational opportunities for all;
  • Providing Health and Food security to all;
  • Promotion of ASEAN’s rich cultural diversity among its peoples.

We would add that the empowerment, participation and involvement of the people in ASEAN towards building a resilient and highly cohesive and competitive ASEAN in the global environment must be implemented with the greatest sense of urgency. The forces of globalisation, which may give rise to undesirable effects, should be countered by a conscious effort to cater to human security and development in all its dimensions.

§3: THE ECONOMIC DIMENSION OF HUMAN SECURITY AND DEVELOPMENT

In our view, the most important factor for ASEAN’s success will be sustained economic growth for all ASEAN member states. We cannot emphasise enough that we place the greatest importance on economic growth as the engine of change in ASEAN. Without economic growth, there may be insufficient resources to fund the running of the various social and cultural programmes that are contemplated above.

When we speak of the economic dimension, we are in fact speaking of the great forces of human endeavour that are now making the world a borderless one, a place where regional alliances are made not through geographical links, but through cyberspace – where goals are not regional but global.

In our earlier analysis, we mention that the characteristics of ASEAN economies give rise for some concern. Certain economies are poised to join the forces of globalisation. Other economies are painfully but surely coming out of their traditional planned economy status. They are referred to as “transition economies” or emerging economies.

We label the key impetus in economics as market liberalisation – a concept that must be accepted by all ASEAN countries if we are to compete with the rest of the world. There must be serious commitment to remove all custom barriers in ASEAN, for instance, to facilitate the flow of goods and capital to each other in the pursuit of economic growth.

Apart from trade and investment, there is also the significant issue of financial infrastructures. We have to accept that the economic and financial crisis that struck ASEAN in the last two years have taught a number of valuable lessons, not least that ASEAN member states did not react fast enough; nor did it react together to control the financial crisis. However, in examining how we can realise V2020, we should not be preoccupied with the crisis. Rather, we should set in place mechanisms that would allow ASEAN finance ministers and authorities to take quick action to stave off any threat to the stability of the financial infrastructure. There are also already moves to improving and restructuring financial institutions. However, we will examine what should be done on an ASEAN basis that is not already being done.

As ASEAN economies are developing at a different pace, economic measures should at least be two-track. The objective is to reduce the gap among the economies, while not impeding the more developed economies to plug in fully to the new knowledge-based economy. One track is to assist the less developed economies through technical assistance programmes and other means to broaden the economic base for those economies, so that they too may enjoy some of the prosperity of the other member states. The other track then is to facilitate the more developed economies to meet the challenges of globalisation.

In discussing economic initiatives, it is necessary to take stock of what has already been done, and what are continuing dangers or external factors that may adversely affect the recovery of ASEAN. These include in the immediate term, exchange rate misalignment of major currencies, US stock market reversal, the ailing Japanese economy and rising protectionism. But the good signs are that ASEAN has institutionalised the ASEAN Surveillance Process (ASP). This involves a peer review process, and information exchange. This is a good start, but bolder measures may be required, as outlined below.

The current position has certain salient features:

  • It recognises the need to be flexible, due to the different stages of economic development of different states;
  • It mentions the need to have measures to protect the poor and most vulnerable in coming out with measures to enhance stability and efficiency of the monetary systems.
  • It saw the need for more transparency especially among key institutions and large market participants;
  • It recognises that sound macroeconomic policies are fundamental to the sustainability of any exchange rate regime.
  • It recognises the national interests of member states to choose their own exchange rate regime.

Financial Issues:

There is a critical goal that ASEAN must pursue: it is to participate with other international financial institutions to design a new financial infrastructure that would take into account the regional interests of ASEAN. In particular, the differences in economic development in the economies of the world must be recognised. We believe that ASEAN should not wait to be dictated to by international financial institutions in the setting up of the new financial architecture. We must also be mindful that even with a new financial architecture in place, ASEAN member countries must each commit themselves to instituting best practices for a healthy financial and banking sector, consonant with the aim to sustain investor confidence in the region.

Our recommendations vis-à-vis the financial issues of ASEAN are as follows:

Recommendations (Set 1: Financial)

ASEAN should take an active lead in building a regional financial architecture in East Asia, which can be a positive building block towards a new global financial architecture by:

  • Building on the best practices in ASEAN, particularly in exchange rate management, which strikes a balance between stability and flexibility;
  • Expanding arrangements to share experience and deepen dialogue on currency baskets and other practices, which can pave the way for greater cooperation in the financial and monetary fields, such as currency swaps and other currency arrangements in our region.

ASEAN economies should cooperate more closely with one another in international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

  • ASEAN economies should work closely together in the IFIs with a view towards belonging to the same constituency or closely related constituencies.

ASEAN members should cooperate closely with one another in developing their capital markets, with a view towards creating a single ASEAN stock market. Current measures to facilitate this may include:

  • Networking arrangements among stock exchanges in ASEAN economies;
  • Promoting cross-investments among these stock exchanges.

A private sector driven ASEAN Finance Institute should be established to promote networking arrangements, which complement and expand government initiatives in:

  • Corporate governance;
  • Banking sector development and strengthening;
  • Capital market development;
  • Macro-economic risk management;
  • Economic monitoring and surveillance.

The ASEAN Finance Institute should also undertake capacity building programmes in these fields.

Trade and Investment Issues:

In trade and investment, the initiatives in the Hanoi Plan of Action, and the progress of AFTA already suggest that much have been done, especially with regard to tariff reductions. More perhaps could be done to speed up the process, as well as to expand the Inclusion List for products. Although we note that the newer ASEAN countries may need more time to implement AFTA, it would be in their interest to accelerate the process. We are convinced that market liberalisation has to be realised in ASEAN as soon as possible, in order for the region as a whole to prosper.

We make no firm recommendation on the further implementation of AFTA except to reiterate that member states should view implementation as a matter of priority to stimulate trade and growth in the region. It must be said that the vision to create a new economic environment in ASEAN has already been taking place, although it is likely to be delayed due to the economic crisis, and the problems faced by the transition economies. The accelerated implementation of AFTA measures is seen as a bold step, but it should be taken with courage.

On the investment front, we note the progress made in relation to the ASEAN Investment Area (AIA), which is supervised by the ASEAN Investment Area Council. There is a case for increased activity in promoting the AIA, not just in the region, but also abroad.

Information on the Investment Area has been disseminated and distributed, although we believe that more should be done in terms of promoting the AIA. In particular, it has been suggested that there should be road shows and the like to the other parts of the world. Concurrently, it is also necessary to rebuild the confidence of the investors in the region again. It would also be necessary to show investors that ASEAN has restructured, and is a good region for investment.

As to the road-shows, there is a need to pay particular attention to marketing the whole of ASEAN rather than to project the merits or otherwise of a particular country or area. There should be a serious attempt to have pan-ASEAN strategies in place, so that investors can see the ASEAN region as a whole, and that ASEAN member states act in concert and complement each other’s strengths.

We note that some progress has been made in the area of services to develop mutual co-operation. Seven priority areas – air transport, business services, construction, financial services, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism – have been identified. Again, such initiatives and strategies require commitment from each ASEAN state, commitment that we hope will be sustained.

The granting of market access to ASEAN suppliers is mainly to satisfy obligations under GATS. As far as the area of services is concerned, we believe more can be done to develop both the quality of services, as well as the number of service providers. We need to have institutions in place to train personnel with a global outlook, and with sound principles of corporate governance, and work ethics.

We see the need for developing training centres of different sorts throughout ASEAN – perhaps under an ASEAN Service Skills Development Fund. The provision of funds and training facilities by the more developed ASEAN member states may be critical in improving the general quality of services in the region.

We believe it is in the interests of ASEAN to develop ASEAN-aware service personnel. We particularly think that ASEAN tourist guides should be well trained for travel in the region, and be able to lead tour groups across borders. (Such guides are frequently found in Europe.)

As for services, it is also pertinent to note that some ASEAN services are regarded as excellent – for example, Singapore’s airline, ports and airport services have done well. It would be good to encourage the development of closer links among the air services, to share information and standards of maintenance and the like. In this way, we should see a gradual improvement in the provision of services in ASEAN.

Our recommendations are as follows:

Recommendations (Set 2: Trade & Investment)

ASEAN should move quickly beyond AFTA and to accelerate the implementation of the AIA, to make ASEAN an even more competitive and attractive economic area through:

  • Adopting common trade facilitation standards and practices;
  • Adopting of common investment promotion programmes, which enable ASEAN economies to complement one another;
  • Accelerating the realisation of AFTA, AIA, e-ASEAN, and the conclusion of negotiations concerning services liberalisation, in particular the adoption of an “open skies” policy in ASEAN;
  • Encouraging mergers and cooperation among the ASEAN businesses, which in turn would strengthen their global competitiveness;
  • Promoting training and capacity building programmes and sharing of best practices, particularly in all key aspects of trade facilitation and investment promotion.

§4: A COMMUNITY OF CARING SOCIETIES

According to V2020, the idea of a community of caring societies would recognise national identities and boundaries, while at the same time, bound by a regional identity. That is why we coined the phrase, “10 Cultures – One ASEAN”.

We realise that there are already some institutional frameworks in place to promote and develop able and caring societies in ASEAN. For example, in education, we have the ASEAN University Network (AUN). Certain initiatives such as the ASEAN Distinguished Professors Programmes, the ASEAN Executive Development Programme and the AUN Congress on University Quality Assurance are already in place. However, we believe that much more can and should be done. In a region of 500 million people, the talent pool should be large enough to service the needs of ASEAN and beyond. This can only be so, when the talent is actually nurtured, not just at the university or tertiary level, but at all levels, including even child-care and pre-school education.

There is a special need, we feel, to ensure that the people-to-people contacts be increased substantially, so that when ASEAN governments act in concert, they will be supported by the people with a real awareness of ASEAN.

In ASEAN, we believe in our diverse systems and cultures, and we should be proud of this. We encapsulate this diversity in the slogan referred to above, “10 Cultures – One ASEAN”. Under this theme, there should be a co-ordinating agency set up to bring together ASEAN Cultural Centres for road-shows or concerts, for instance, throughout ASEAN and other regions of the world. An ASEAN Arts and Dance troupe should comprise of the best dancers, musicians, singers and the like. These programmes may be financially viable, and at the same time, may improve people-to-people contact in the region.

Sport is a great uniting force in the world. Television has brought sporting events into millions of homes, village squares, or community centres. If the SEA Games are now renamed ASEAN Games, it will send the right signal – that ASEAN has come of age, that one of the dreams of our founding fathers has been met, namely having all ten South-east Asian countries under one umbrella – ASEAN. Sportsmen and women from all ASEAN countries competing in a friendly atmosphere will do much to encourage peoples’ feelings of goodwill towards ASEAN.

As V2020 requires us to think long-term, it is necessary to look at the cultivation of an ASEAN spirit among our young people. We make a series of recommendations regarding improving the ASEAN awareness and spirit among our young people:

We recommend the development of an ASEAN Youth Corps. Such a corps can undertake projects or expeditions and learn from each other. In less developed areas, members of the Corps may assist in a variety of things – providing basic health care, food, building infrastructures or even helping out in the fields.

But, it may be that such a Youth Corps should devote most of its time to education – to the teaching of English, for example. A common language is critical to the spreading of a common message. However, we do not mean to say that English should supplant national languages, only that it be used as a common communication tool among the peoples of ASEAN. When performers sing, it is unlikely that they will forgo their national languages in preference to English. But when they want to do something together, they should do so in a common working language. We do not dismiss the possibility, in the long run, of ASEAN peoples learning each other’s languages but that would take a lot of time and certainly a lot of promotion is required.

Cultivation of a common regional identity is not possible without a slew of measures to take the concept to the people. Persuading political leaders, public servants, private sector management and labour, grassroots leaders may be just the tip of the iceberg. The penetration has to be much deeper. It may even require, for instance, agreement among all the member states, that like the EU, products can be labelled “Made in ASEAN”. But if this “Made in ASEAN” message is to be applied to other sectors, in particular, the civil sector, it requires much more to be done than just setting up cultural institutions. There must be a concerted effort to maintain the ASEAN message. Resources have to be found for this. The institutions are:

  • ASEAN Cultural Centres;
  • ASEAN Youth Corps

Furthermore we suggest that there should be much more attention paid to the use of the media in promoting ASEAN awareness, and that we should have an increased role for all the TV and film industries of each country, to produce films and other shows with a regional bent. Further, there should be more ASEAN based shows on regular TV and radio. It may be even in the interest of ASEAN to form an ASEAN Cultural Troupe, whose job it is to take ASEAN to the different ASEAN countries, as well as to spread the ASEAN message in other parts of the world.

We should clarify that in the case of ASEAN Cultural Centres, we see them as being self-financing in the end. We believe that these cultural centres are focal points for ASEAN talents to display their art, as well as to impart it to young people. In this way, we can fulfil the twin objectives of raising ASEAN awareness as well as preserving the arts and crafts of ASEAN. It will also increase the potential of ASEAN as a tourist attraction.

Moving to the ASEAN Youth Corps – this Youth Corps, we believe, if properly formed and managed, would eventually be the best ambassadors of the ASEAN message. We envisage young, motivated people joining the Corps to do a variety of things – teach, help out in development projects, work with the poor and disadvantaged, and at the same time, learn more about ASEAN and its peoples. Further down the road, we hope that each government will consider setting up ASEAN Youth Hostels, so that the young people of ASEAN can have a place to stay cheaply when they travel around the region.

In reviewing what has been done in ASEAN on youth, we note that progress has been made since the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Youth in 1997, in Kuala Lumpur. We also note that there is a need to train and re-train youth for jobs, as well as to keep juvenile delinquency down. We agree with the setting up of the ASEAN training centres, and hope that further progress will be made as regards them. What is important, perhaps, is to see how ASEAN training centres can be created, where the young people of ASEAN can come together, to be trained in a variety of skills pertinent to their national needs.

In the area of education, we have already stated that the network of universities, for example, can come up with programmes that are more centred towards students than staff. We think that each University in the region should be outward looking, and should seek to educate its young people on the region, and what we hope to achieve in the region. More opportunities should also be afforded to the young to travel among the various ASEAN universities.

To pursue the objective of a technologically competitive ASEAN, the technologically more prepared ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand should provide programmes and assistance to member states that are not so well prepared. The first priority in our view is to link up the universities and other institutions of higher learning, so that the transfer of technology and knowledge can be accelerated. Second, there must be a parallel move to link up the businesses, so that the use of information technology and communications as a tool would be internalised into the business culture of ASEAN. Third, the initiative of Singapore in setting up an e-Government (essentially, a network that allows quick and effective communication between citizen and public administrators) should be replicated in other parts of ASEAN.

However this is just one of the steps that must be taken to prepare ASEAN for the new economy. In fact, the problem is even more acute, as we go down the education chain. We recommend that the better-developed members of ASEAN derive a plan to assist the other member states in developing educational resources. Aid should be given not just in terms of funds, but also of ideas, of programmes, of expertise and of commitment. Child education is as important as, if not more than, tertiary education. The only type of worker that may prosper in the new economy is the “knowledge worker”. The issue that challenges all governments in ASEAN is how to train enough knowledge workers for the economy of each of the member states.

To fully embrace the knowledge-based economy, a country must have an open economy that would allow free flow of trade and expertise – if constraints are placed on this, it would obstruct any meaningful transition from the old economy to the new economy. The new economy requires investments in R&D and ICT infrastructure, entrepreneurship and venture capital, education, and last but certainly not least, talent.

We also recognise that the Finance Ministers note the need to give priority to the poor and the vulnerable. In line with our human security and development viewpoint, we cannot agree more. We believe that it is necessary to look into the setting up of financial or banking institutions, where micro-credit facilities are offered to those who cannot afford to go to the normal commercial banks. Such institutions would send a positive signal to the peoples of ASEAN. Naturally, we think that such institutions should preferably be initiated in the private sector or by the local communities where such funds are needed, but such schemes may also need advice and incentives from the governments where such facilities are considered necessary.

De-centralising business and manufacturing industries away from major urban conurbations may also be a viable strategy, so as to avoid overcrowding, slums and other social urban problems in the future. Such schemes may need not just private sector participation, but the building of necessary infrastructure by governments to facilitate the process, and to prevent the migration of people from rural areas to urban communities – which usually leads to severe problems of overcrowding in cities, and a de-population of the rural areas.

Our recommendations are as follows:

Recommendations (Set 3: Social, Educational & Cultural)

ASEAN adopts a policy of promoting ASEAN community spirit among all peoples of ASEAN by (among others):

  • Setting up and promoting linkages among ASEAN cultural centres;
  • Setting up an ASEAN Volunteer Corps;
  • Renaming the SEA Games as “ASEAN Games”;
  • Enlisting the assistance of the media and business corporations in promoting the ASEAN community spirit.
  • ASEAN should make a strong concerted effort to promote the use of English as the common working language so that exchanges among ASEAN institutions, people and businesses will be greatly facilitated;
  • ASEAN members should develop more and broader linkages among educational institutions at all levels;
  • ASEAN members with established common high standards in education, especially in science, mathematics and social sciences, assist other ASEAN members in improving and developing their curricula, with a view to raising the standards of education in the whole of ASEAN.
  • ASEAN members should prioritise on setting up programmes and training institutes, especially for the “knowledge based economy”.
  • ASEAN members that already have such institutes provide assistance to the other members on request;
  • Such institutes should be networked to provide mutual assistance.
  • ASEAN should promote and facilitate the spread and strengthening of community-based savings, micro-credit loan schemes and development funds. These facilities could operate through peer pressure and under community surveillance, so that ordinary people who otherwise have no access commercial financial institutions can have access to funds for their small business ventures.
  • ASEAN members should immediately address and formulate programmes to arrest the worsening condition of the poor in ASEAN through:
  • The involvement of the business sector and civil society in fighting poverty;
  • Capacity building; health care and assistance; provision of community-based micro-credit facilities.

We should also like to highlight the growing problem of providing for the health of the peoples in ASEAN. It is unfortunately true that none of the ASEAN countries, for example, are free from the scourge of HIV/AIDS. Indeed, the ASEAN countries may be said to have a serious problem in this regard, and concerted ASEAN action is needed. The spread of HIV/AIDS is having a devastating impact on all sectors and levels of society in the ASEAN region and the world, and if unchecked, the pandemic poses a serious threat to regional stability and security. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1308(2000) urges all nations to coordinate and intensify efforts to address HIV/AIDS in all appropriate fora.

Accordingly, we would recommend as follows:

Recommendation (Set 4: Health)

ASEAN states should cooperate in the promotion of health and hygiene to ensure that good international practices are adopted. ASEAN should also train personnel to provide health assistance to all, especially those in remote areas.

The ASEAN Leaders should initiate programmes and encourage all member states to immediately launch and expand effective immediate and long-term strategies for HIV/AIDS education, prevention, voluntary & confidential testing and counselling & treatment of their citizens.

§5: EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Introduction

Our Terms of Reference in relation to external relations are: To develop a plan for a peaceful and stable Southeast Asia as well as to fulfil the vision of the ASEAN Regional Forum as an established means for confidence-building and preventive diplomacy and ASEAN as an effective force for peace, justice and moderation in the Asia Pacific and in the world.

Additionally, we are “to examine the current state of ASEAN’s role in regional and international affairs and recommend practical measures to build an outward-looking ASEAN playing a pivotal role in the international fora and an ASEAN having an intensified relationship with its Dialogue Partners.”

The most important consideration is the globalisation process. We are at the beginning of this process. The crisis shows that the weakness in the existing international financial system can have a very big impact for each country. The continuous efforts in bilateral and multilateral trade and investment liberalization will propel the globalisation process. At the same time, the international political security issues are changing in response to this new phenomenon.

These external changes have a profound implication on the well being of individuals in each country. It is clear that any single country in ASEAN would find it difficulty to address this challenge alone. ASEAN has to address this challenge as a group – an ASEAN response. The Vision 2020, thus, calls for an outward looking ASEAN playing a pivotal role in the international fora, advancing ASEAN’s common interests and having an intensified relationship with its dialogue partners.

Challenges to ASEAN’s External Relations

ASEAN needs to take steps to ensure that its present external relations are consistent with its long-term objectives and to spell out clear goals in pursuing each of its dialogue relations. This should be based on a comprehensive review of its external relations taking into account political, strategic and economic cooperation.

ASEAN still needs to have an effective approach in promoting its external relations, and to look into ways to pursue a more equitable dialogue partnership. More specifically, ASEAN needs to be more assertive in terms of contributing towards the strengthening of its dialogue relations with its respective partners.

How should ASEAN reconcile the recent extension of its moratorium on dialogue relations with the goals of the ASEAN Vision 2020 for an outward looking ASEAN? The Vision 2020 states that

“We see an outward looking ASEAN playing a pivotal role in the international fora, and advancing ASEAN’s common interests. We envision ASEAN having an intensified relationship with its Dialogue Partners and other regional organisations based on equal partnership and mutual respect.”

ASEAN’s dialogue relations should be strengthened to ensure the support of dialogue partners in helping to enhance peace and security in the region. With the end of the cold war relations among the major players in the region such as Japan, China and the United States will have a tremendous effect on the region. This could be seen as an important challenge for ASEAN in the conduct of its external relations.

Our recommendation in this respect is that

Recommendation (Set 5: External Relations)

ASEAN member states should strive to:

  • Allocate the highest priority to the development of ASEAN;
  • Maintain and strengthen their role in directing and guiding the ARF;
  • Influence developments in the global arena and this to maximising benefits to ASEAN;
  • Ensure that ASEAN is “globalisation ready”;
  • Take proactive action for engagement at all levels (global, regional and bilateral levels) as a cohesive, integrated community of nations

Aside from these specific recommendations on external relations, we have made suggestions, but not recommendations below relating to external relations. This is because we understand that other groups may be studying the same, and making recommendations on such matters. Our comments and suggestions follow in the succeeding paragraphs.

The advent of globalisation calls for strengthening global governance. ASEAN should work together in influencing the direction of the development of these “international institutions” to enhance the interests of ASEAN. At the same time, ASEAN should prepare itself for the implementation of these new institutions.

It is important to recognise is that this process of evolution has already begun and there is an urgency to make a calculated move to ensure that the interest of the region is not compromised. ASEAN could play a leading role here.

There are five issues to address.

Political security. Global security is directly affected by globalisation. Its scope will expand beyond balance of military power to include the stability in the international market (such as financial market) and human security and development. ASEAN needs to develop a strategy to further enhance its stance in the UN to promote ASEAN views and interests. ASEAN already has a common position on many issues such as:

  • Peaceful settlement of disputes (the ASEAN Treaty of Amity and Cooperation – TAC),
  • Promoting a regional approach (Zone for Peace, Freedom and Neutrality – ZOPFAN),
  • Discouraging the production and sale of weapons of mass destruction (Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapon Free Zone – SEANWFZ).

ASEAN should remain proactive in the issue of disarmament and international peacekeeping.

Trade and Investment. The rapid evolution of the organisation of industries through merger and acquisition is one of the main concerns raised at the UNCTAD X in Bangkok in February 2000. ASEAN needs to develop a regional target and plan of action to achieve these targets, especially in the WTO and UNCTAD, and to secure the support of other countries and groupings to support these targets and plan, in particular, the development of the Information, Communications Technology (ICT) industry.

In addition to this, ASEAN needs to make further efforts in attracting foreign trade and investment especially from its dialogue partners. ASEAN’s needs to further capitalise on its dialogue relations in achieving this objective such as securing greater market access.

Finance. The rapid development of the “new” international financial architecture imposes an urgent need for ASEAN to support one other in various international fora set up for this purpose. At the same time, ASEAN, as a group, should play a bigger role in influencing the direction of international financial institutions, especially, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), Bank for International Settlement (BIS) and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Science, Technology and Environment. Science and technology is the corner stone of competitiveness. The developments in science and technology are moving more and more towards the control of the private sector. There is a need for international agreements or conventions to ensure that such control by the private sector would not compromise benefits to small developing countries, such as some member states in ASEAN.

In order to preserve the long-term competitiveness of ASEAN, the protection of intellectual property, especially, for the Genetic Modified Organism (GMO) issue, ASEAN should advocate this in the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), the WTO (under TRIPS), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other related international bodies.

Similarly, there are issues in the international conventions on environment, in particular, the Convention on Biodiversity and Trans-boundary air pollution, which ASEAN needs to take a strong stand to prevent the use of these conventions as barriers for ASEAN exports and thus, prevent the development of industries in ASEAN.

Social development. As the world becomes more integrated through information, communication and transportation networks, the social setting of development changes drastically. ASEAN needs a long-term policy to ensure the order, safety and cultural identity of each individual. Labour markets will become more integrated internationally. Health care will also become an international issue. ASEAN has to determine a strategic role in the international fora related to these issues, in particular, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Table 1 shows some of the International Institutions associated with the above issues. All ASEAN bodies should be working together on this plan, even though the issue may directly rest on one particular body.

Table 1: International Institutions

Untitled3

Consolidating Efforts on Regional Linkages

Regional linkage is a “mechanism” that can serve two broad purposes: enhancing cooperation between the two groups and working together in advancing common interests with the rest of the world. There is a rapid increase in the number of regional groupings around the world, both for economic and political purposes. This will make it easier for ASEAN to engage more countries through such a mechanism.

In light of this ASEAN may wish to consider forging closer cooperation with other regional countries and groupings e.g. the Middle East and Latin America. It would be good if this could be based on in-depth studies looking at political, economic and strategic factors. ASEAN’s existing “mechanisms” may be insufficient to cope with new partnerships. Nonetheless, this should not be used as an excuse for not forging cooperation with potential partners, which could really benefit ASEAN. Efforts need to be undertaken to develop the appropriate mechanisms especially if the partnership is vital to ASEAN.

Some consideration should also be given on holding another ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in addition to the AMM usually held in July. Whilst ASEAN Foreign Ministers meet at the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly, this may not be an appropriate venue. An additional ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in an ASEAN capital could be used to meet specifically with regional partners aimed at further promoting political, economic and strategic relations.

Currently, ASEAN has five active regional linkages: ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN+3, APEC, ASEM and AFTA-CER. Table 2 summaries the modality and focus of each of these linkages.

Table 2: ASEAN Regional Linkages

Untitled4

Other regional linkages are either in the exploratory stage or have not been very active. The ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) has also established some linkages with the MERCUSOR in Latin America and SADC in Africa. The ASEAN Senior Economic Officials are contemplating a study on the linkage with India. These forums allow ASEAN to engage the major players in the world. There is a vast difference in the intensity of the activities in each of these linkages. The focus of each of these linkages is also different.

There is a need to maximize the benefit to ASEAN relations in each of these forums.

ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)

ARF is one of the most important comprehensive security dialogues in the world because it involves all the major world power, especially, China, Japan, Russia and USA. The strength of the ARF is its flexibility in accommodating a wide range of issues to meet the requirements of its members, and in the openness in which the discussion of sensitive issues takes place.

Aside from the exchange of views, ARF should be focussing on the development and strengthening of international institutions, e.g., the restructuring of the UN system and preparations of its members for globalisation.

ASEAN, as the driver of the ASEAN Regional Forum, may be faced with the task of how to make the forum more effective. Recognising that the ARF is a forum for political and security dialogue and whilst resolving issues and conflicts is a long way off, there may be certain expectations for it to be more responsive in addressing particular issues. For example, contributing to existing efforts to further promote peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula, addressing the impact of globalisation on security, or forging a common stance on disarmament issues.

A longer-term plan for the ARF

While ARF is focusing mainly on current issues, the forum can be used by ASEAN to influence the political security development in the world by making the agenda more structured with the focus on areas of interest. Such issues could include the status of arms race and developments in UN Security Council.

Consultative sessions

ARF should also develop a consultative session where representatives from a specific country or countries or organisations or civil society groups can be invited to participate in the session on specific issues. This would allow the ARF to address specific issues of interest.

Strengthening the institutional mechanisms

To ensure the effectiveness of discussions in the ARF, better preparations for meetings are needed. We would like to propose a briefing by the Secretary General of UN or his representative on the status of international security issues and issues of interest for ASEAN, such as peacekeeping and disarmament.

ASEAN + China, Japan And Korea (ASEAN + 3)

ASEAN + 3 is an important part of ASEAN’s regional linkages. Although the ASEAN + 3 Summit had just announced the work program in November 1999, there are already on-going consultations among the foreign, economic and finance ministers.

Careful thought needs to be given on the direction of the ASEAN +3 process and the role ASEAN member countries would like to play. The ASEAN + 3 is still a new process and its orientation largely would be determined by policy considerations. As it is still in its early stages, a gradual approach should be taken focusing on ways to build confidence and mutual trust.

The ASEAN + 3 should try to secure its own niche against the backdrop of an increasing number of regional processes in the Asia-Pacific. It is a cooperative effort to nurture an East Asian community.

The momentum of the ASEAN + 3 has been set by Leaders and every effort should be undertaken to ensure it continues to be driven by them. There is strong interest on political security among the group. However, the nature of the issues prevents them from being included in the current agenda. ASEAN should move to include political dialogue.

Cooperation in finance is the fastest moving area among the ASEAN+3. This could be singled out as an important area of cooperation among ASEAN China, Japan and the Republic of Korea ASEAN + 3 as it has the potential to contribute in efforts to reform the international financial architecture. We could explore co-operation in other areas as the comfort level of the ASEAN+3 increases.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

APEC groups most of the world’s economic powers, particularly, USA and Japan. This regional forum, which started as an economic forum (as the name suggests), is bringing more and more political issues into the “agenda”.

The main benefit for APEC to ASEAN and its developing country members would be to gear APEC toward focusing on strengthening its members in readiness for the new global economy. This would include the establishment of new legal institutions, education and training of manpower and at the same time ensuring that the poor and vulnerable are not left out in the new environment. This would mean focusing APEC on ECOTEC activities and at the same time reducing its work on liberalisation and refraining from moving to political issues.

Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM)

While APEC is an Asian engagement with US, ASEM is an Asian engagement of European Union (EU). ASEAN should pay more attention to strengthen the development of ASEM because of its strategic importance. ASEM agenda covers most cooperative aspects such as finance, trade, investment and social development. However, political security is not in the agenda.

Even though the ASEM process covers a lot of areas, its activity is still limited. ASEAN should increase the engagement of the EU, especially, in finance cooperation and social development.

Financial cooperation with the European Union (EU) offers at least 3 benefits: sharing of experiences in financial integration, technical cooperation and strategic alliance.

  • ASEAN is moving towards more financial market integration. ASEAN can learn from EU and avoid some of the mistakes;
  • There is an urgent need to strengthen the financial system in ASEAN. The large number of training institutions and human resource development program offer a vast potential for ASEAN to tap into; and
  • As the second world largest financial centre in the world, ASEM should be used to further ASEAN and Asian requirements in the international financial architecture.

For social development, EU is currently the largest donor group for ASEAN. Many of the activities are aiming at strengthening ASEAN’s long-term competitiveness, such as the technical assistance on product standards and intellectual property rights. ASEAN should build on these programs and further develop the program to assist the integration within ASEAN, especially, the new members of ASEAN.

ASEAN Free Trade Area – Closer Economic Relations (AFTA-CER)

AFTA-CER Linkage was established since 1995. The focus is on trade facilitation activities, such as standards, customs and human resource development. However, in 1999 the ASEAN Economic Ministers agreed to explore an establishment of an AFTA-CER Free Trade Area.

AFTA-CER Linkage should be designed as a prototype of the new regionalism. It should illustrate how regional groupings can help each other in preparing themselves for globalisation. The emphasis of economic and technical cooperation should be the core of this relationship. However, it does not necessary have to be a donor-recipient type relationship. The linkages allow more cross-linkages of investment and trading activities and hence build a stronger and more competitive market.

United Nations (UN)

The UN is an existing international organisation to assume such a role. However, UN and its specialized agencies appear relatively weak, both in terms of resources and authority. What is more important is that they may lack the credibility and trust from its member states, especially, the major world powers. There is a need to revamp and enhance the role of UN to make it a global coordinator for establishment of international institutions and be given enough resources to implement program to assist the less developing countries to prepare themselves for the advent of globalisation.

ASEAN should invite the Secretary-General to have consultations in the Post Ministerial Consultation (PMC) process and to the ARF. The SG-UN should be requested to provide a brief report on the security situation in the world, before the ARF process.

At the regional level, the ESCAP and the related regional office of the UN’s specialized agencies should also be subjected to major review and align its work program to meet regional priorities, especially, those in ASEAN.

Strengthening ASEAN’s Dialogue Relations

ASEAN has 10 Dialogue Partners countries. In developing partnership with its Dialogue Partners, ASEAN should work towards a comprehensive relationship based on the strength of each Dialogue Partner, in order to serve the political, economic, finance and social development objectives.

It would be useful for ASEAN to have a clear understanding on the existing status of its external relations before taking steps on how to further strengthen it.

A study could be conducted as to whether the ASEAN-dialogue relationships with its 10 partners are conducted on an equal partnership. By identifying this, it may help ASEAN to see how it can further strengthen its dialogue relations and how it can be shaped to the advantage of both sides. ASEAN dialogue relations, despite the emphasis being on development cooperation may well still be conducted on the basis of a donor- recipient relationship.

It is important that ASEAN upholds the principle of non-discrimination in its relationship with Dialogue Partners so that ASEAN could remain as a cohesive organisation. Hence, ASEAN should consider developing a flexible and dynamic co-operative framework, which would allow different groups of ASEAN countries to work and pool resources with Dialogue Partners.

Strengthening Internal Initiatives:

ASEAN is seeking dialogue partner support for implementing the activities under the Hanoi Plan of Action. ASEAN must assume this larger responsibility for implementing the Hanoi Plan of Action and that assistance from dialogue partners should only consist of a small part. Dialogue partner assistance should act as a supplement rather than a determining factor in trying to implement the Hanoi Plan of Action. Over reliance on dialogue partners could expose ASEAN’s weakness and undermine its stance as a viable regional organisation.

Development cooperation relies on funding from both ASEAN and the dialogue partners. Lack of funds is often cited as a problem in further pursuing development cooperation. Financial resources will always be limited. This applies to dialogue partners’ ability to contribute financially to development cooperation. Should they be in a position to do so, it will likely be conditional. Perhaps ASEAN needs to have its own development cooperation funding mechanism or strengthen any existing ones.

ASEAN may wish to consider working closely with other international financial institutions and non-governmental agencies such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank on how best to mobilise the resources required.

§6: DEVELOPING INSTITUTIONS – ACTING IN CONCERT

Reference has already been made to the fact that as ASEAN grows both in breadth (geographically) and in depth (co-operation in projects at ASEAN level), there have been a large number of meetings throughout the year by various groups. Some commentators feel that this in itself has merit in that there are many opportunities for many of the public officers to get to know each other, and to establish working relationships.

While this is true and says a great deal for the degree of dynamic activity in ASEAN, there is a sense that the proliferation of meetings and discussions somehow do not permeate to the peoples of ASEAN, and to outsiders, that ASEAN is acting in concert. Now, there is no doubt that the main government ministers involved in ASEAN affairs are the Economic Ministers (5 meetings in 1998-9), and Foreign Ministers (5 meetings in 1998-9). Because of the financial crisis, Finance Ministers did meet five times between March 1997and April 1999, but the other Ministers met irregularly. ASEAN Law Ministers, for instance, meet only once in three years. Heads of Government meet only once a year.

The EPG feels that there has to be a more co-ordinated system, whereby ASEAN officials and Ministers, as well as those involving the other institutions (such as centres of research and universities), and the private sector should be seen as a coherent whole, moving the ASEAN vision forward. In this regard, it is also important that the Heads of Government get more involved in the ASEAN process. In this day and age, when the tools of information technology are such that a video-conference spanning countries can be set up in minutes or hours, it should not be a problem having more dialogue and discussions among the Heads of Government on a more regular basis. This could be done perhaps on a quarterly basis, with one face-to-face meeting per year.

Indeed, we strongly feel that the Heads of Government should take “full ownership” of the ASEAN programme – that is, ASEAN matters should be dealt with in general at that level. The EPG feels that ASEAN Heads of Government should work towards making this goal a reality. The ASEAN mission as it were should not be seen to be primarily moved by the respective ministries, but rather by the Heads of Government acting in concert.

With this recommendation in practice, it should not take too long for the officials and private sectors to realise that the concept of ASEAN is one that can move forward. Further, it will also emphasise the importance of ASEAN not only to the peoples of ASEAN, but also to the outside world. This will increase the geopolitical significance of ASEAN. Last, but not least, more frequent dialogue among the Heads of Government would increase their personal understanding of one another, and promote general goodwill to a far greater degree. This can only benefit ASEAN and its peoples in the long run.

While ASEAN governments operate by way of consensus building, broad principles and procedures, rather than “structures and institutional frameworks” there may be scope for the formation of ASEAN-type institutions in a variety of fields. We name but four -

  • Education (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary);
  • Science & Technology (private sector SMEs etc.);
  • Good Governance (public and private sectors);
  • ASEAN Cultural groups (Track 2 – NGOs and non-governmental organisations;
  • There is therefore a need to develop certain ASEAN mechanisms:
  • To facilitate and provide more opportunities for exchanges and networking of different groups/professions in ASEAN;
  • To encourage the role of civil society organisations in ASEAN, especially their participation in the development of an ASEAN community;
  • All public and private institutions in ASEAN should be urged to play a positive role in promoting an ASEAN community spirit by expanding their cooperation with their ASEAN counterparts.

Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat

The V2020 statement clearly envisages the enhanced role of the ASEAN Secretariat. It states, “We resolve to develop and strengthen ASEAN’s institutions and mechanisms to enable ASEAN to realize the vision and respond to the challenges of the coming century. We also see the need for a strengthened ASEAN Secretariat with an enhanced role to support the realization of our vision”.

In order for ASEAN Secretariat to perform these functions, the ASEAN Secretariat should be strengthened by reviewing and improving its institutional, staffing and funding structures, with a view to realising the ASEAN Vision 2020.

ASEAN has already established an elaborate mechanism for external relationships. Our Leaders, Ministers, senior officers and technical officers are working closely with a large number of international organisations, regional groupings and other countries. ASEAN needs to work harder to put substance into these mechanisms.

Aside from the government, the private sector, academia and NGOs, should be working closer together among themselves and with the ASEAN governments.

Efforts to strengthen ASEAN’s external relations will directly or indirectly have certain implications on ASEAN’s mechanisms. Essentially ASEAN’s mechanisms have to be streamlined. The existing one needs to be reviewed. ASEAN Leaders should take a more prominent role in ASEAN cooperation. To assist them, the ASEAN Secretariat should be fully professionalised and provided with appropriate resources (staff and funding).

In order to strengthen the decision processes on external relations, the ASEAN Secretariat should work closely with member countries and relevant international agencies to come up with a regular report (for example on a quarterly basis) on the status of ASEAN external relationships at the international, regional and bilateral levels. The report will be circulated to all the Ministers and Senior Officials.

For each of the ASEAN ministerial meeting, the ASEAN Secretariat should produce a discussion paper highlighting major external relations issues in ASEAN that are relevant to the respective ministerial forum. The decision of the ministers should then be conveyed to all other ministerial bodies, especially, the ministerial bodies directly relevant to such decisions. An example is the coordination of the ASEAN + 3 activities which involves the ASEAN Finance Ministers Meeting (AFMM), the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM). The ASEAN Secretariat, which attends all the Ministerial Meetings, should be the conduit of information to the passed on from one forum to the other. This is an effective way to supplement the internal coordination system in each country.

Aside from coordinating among various ASEAN forums, the ASEAN Secretariat should also coordinate with dialogue partners in the preparations for the consultative meetings. The Secretariat should also prepare issue papers, especially, relating to issues that cut across ministerial forum for the discussion of the senior officials and ministers. This will help improve understanding among various agencies in ASEAN and at the same time enhance consistency and the development of common stance vis-à-vis a particularly dialogue partner or regional grouping.

The ASEAN Secretariat should work closely with the private sector and NGOs to assist them in presenting their cases to relevant ASEAN forums. The ASEAN Secretariat should also coordinate with the academic institutes in ASEAN to develop specific issue papers for the decision makers.

We therefore recommend that:

Recommendations (Set 6: Institutions)

The ASEAN Leaders should take charge and direct ASEAN activities, with a view to realising the ASEAN Vision 2020.

There is also a need to develop other institutions so as to:

  • Facilitate and provide more opportunities for exchanges and networking of different groups/professions in ASEAN;
  • Encourage the role of civil society in ASEAN, especially their participation in the development of an ASEAN community.

All public and private institutions in ASEAN should be urged to play a positive role in promoting an ASEAN community spirit by expanding their cooperation with their ASEAN counterparts.

The ASEAN Secretariat should be given sufficient resources to meet the challenges of an enlarged ASEAN, and of an increased workload, especially with regard to implementing the various plans designed to realise the goals in the ASEAN Vision 2020.

§7: CONCLUSIONS

In embarking on the work of V2020, all members of the EPG found the challenges considerable, as the Vision statement is an extremely broad and utopian one. We realise that we had to prioritise, and that we should be realistic in what is achievable, and what is not in the next decade or so. Much has already been achieved by ASEAN; but much also remains to be done.

In terms of making ASEAN live, not just for economic reasons, we have maintained that we need to build an ASEAN community from the ground up – and we emphasised people-to-people networks, and a gradually receding role for Government, even in economic matters, as the private sector takes over. What is needed from ASEAN leaders is the courage and commitment to act responsibly – and to allow for the gradual development of a vibrant civil society and private sector.

We remain, however, convinced that unless there is sustained economic development throughout the region, and unless there is capability building at all levels, ASEAN would be threatened by the forces of globalisation, and the activities of the new knowledge-based economies. It is vital for ASEAN countries to take up the challenges now, and to create a new compact, between State and citizens, between State and intermediary organisations (such as the private sector or other NGOs), and finally, between citizens and the intermediary organisations.

When basic needs (of food, education and health) are met, and when citizens feel safe and secure at home, threshold values of individual dignity and security become more important. When there is association, people experience a sense of belonging and neighbourliness – we have the desirable social values of identity, community and social cohesion. Finally, when there is participation – and people feel involved in public affairs, and feel that they are being listened to, we will have a society that is inclusive, just and equitable.

Working towards the vision for ASEAN has convinced all of us in the EPG that ASEAN must not just remain relevant as an economic organisation, but must endeavour to remain relevant as a community of nations devoted to peace, freedom and justice in an increasingly shaky world.

We are pleased to submit this Report for the consideration of the ASEAN leaders.

§8: APPENDICES

Appendix A

LIST OF THE EPG MEMBERS:

H.E. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

Brunei Darussalam

H.E. Dr. Sorn Samnang

President, Royal Academy

Kingdom of Cambodia

H.E. Dr. Cornelis P. F. Luhulima

Senior Research Associate, Centre for Strategic and International Studies

Republic of Indonesia

H.E. Mr. Phongsavath Boupha

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs

Lao People’s Democratic Republic

H.E. Tan Sri Datuk Zainal Abidin bin Sulong (Vice Chairman)

Chairman, Malaysia Industrial Development Authority

Malaysia

H.E. U Ba Thwin

Director General (Retired), Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Union of Myanmar

H.E. Dr. Jesus Estanislao

Former Secretary of Finance

Republic of the Philippines

H.E. Assoc. Prof. Chin Tet Yung (Chairman of the EPG)

Member of Parliament and Dean of Law Faculty National University of Singapore

Republic of Singapore

H.E. Mr. Mechai Viravaidya

Senator

Kingdom of Thailand

H.E. Mr. Trinh Xuan Lang

Former Ambassador to the United Nations

Socialist Republic of Viet Nam

Appendix B

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The ASEAN EPG on Vision 2020 would like to thank the following for their support and encouragement:

H.E. Prof. S. Jayakumar

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Republic of Singapore

H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Kingdom of Thailand

H.E. Mr. Domingo L. Siazon, Jr.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs

Republic of the Philippines

H.E. Mr. Datuk Dr. Michael Toyad

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Malaysia

BG (Ret’d) Tan Chin Tiong

Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Republic of Singapore

Dato’ Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak

Acting Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Malaysia

The ASEAN EPG on Vision 2020 would like to thank the following invited guest speakers for their time, information and ideas:

Inaugural Meeting, Singapore, 8 June 1999

H.E. Prof. S. Jayakumar

Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Singapore

Second Meeting, Bangkok, 27-29 August 1999

Mr. Richard Pyvis

Chief Operating Officer, Credit Lyonnais Securities (Asia)

Dr. Mahabub Hossain

Head of the Social Sciences Division, International Rice Research Institute

Dr. Philip Braun

Finance Consultant

Dr. Juree Vichit-Vadakan

President, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Thailand

Third Meeting, Manila, 26-28 February 2000

H.E. Mr. Domingo L. Siazon, Jr.

Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines

Gen. Jose T. Almonte

Former National Security Adviser, Republic of the Philippines

Mr. Barry Wain

Editor-at-Large, Asian Wall Street Journal

Dr. Yoshihiro Iwasaki

Director of the Programs Department (West), Asian Development Bank

Dr. Leonardo D. Hakim

Financial Sector Consultant, World Bank

Dr. Suthad Setboonsarng

Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN

Fourth Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, 4-7 September 2000-11-10

Dato’ Mohamed Jawhar Hassan

Director General, ISIS-Malaysia

The EPG would like to thank all the ASEAN National Secretariats for their cooperation in this project. The EPG would like to thank in particular the Republic of Singapore, Kingdom of Thailand, Republic of the Philippines, and Malaysia for their hospitality and logistics support in hosting the EPG meetings.

The EPG also wishes to express its appreciation for the background information on ASEAN and secretarial service provided by the ASEAN Secretariat.