On 14 December 2007, at the ASEAN Secretariat, Jakarta, Dr. SOEUNG Rathchavy, Deputy Secretary-General, the ASEAN Secretariat and Ms. Louise Hand, Australia’s Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia launched “Brick by Brick – The Building of an ASEAN Economic Community”.  Edited by Dr Denis Hew, Brick by Brick is published by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, in conjunction with Asia Pacific Press in Australia.

This publication was the idea of ASEAN Secretary-General Ong Keng Yong who is also the Convenor of the ASEAN-Australia Development Cooperation Program’s Regional Economic Policy Support Facility. AADCP’s REPSF is an AusAID-funded initiative which is briefed to provide high quality economic policy advice to ASEAN Member Countries and working groups on topics dealing with ASEAN economic integration, in the bold plan to establish an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.  REPSF is based in the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

REPSF started in 2002 and in its first five years of operation (the period covered by this book) has produced 50 research reports written by prominent experts.  In 2007 their brief was extended for a further 18 months in order to cover the broader economic integration of ASEAN with its dialogue partners China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Dr. Hew has selected various themes from the research reports and presented them in a way that highlights some of the key challenges facing ASEAN in its quest. The book also includes an interactive CD-ROM containing all the reports that have been released and abstracts of those other reports, most of which are available on request.

Dr. Hadi Soesastro, Executive Director of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Jakarta, says “The ASEAN economic community is a major project, its realization will radically change the region’s economic and political landscape.  The challenges are equally great. To overcome them requires the “brick-by-brick” approach as thoughtfully proposed in this volume”.

The book is a good introduction to a body of work on important issues in regional economic cooperation for which the stakeholders, the ASEAN Secretariat and AusAID, can be justly proud. 

Copies of Brick by Brick: the Building of an ASEAN Economic Community can be ordered through PT Java Books (Ph: +62 21 4682 1088; Fax: +62 21 461 0206; Email: candy@javabooks.co.id“>candy@javabooks.co.id ) or ISEAS (http://bookshop.iseas.edu.sg/bookmarks/BM329/).

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For media inquiries please contact:
Mr. Rony Soerakoesoemah, Bureau for Economic Integration and Finance, the ASEAN Secretariat, Tel + (62-21) 726 2991 ext. 357 or email: rony@asean.org“>rony@asean.org