JakartaI, 16 February 2012

Students from the Law Faculty of the National University of Singapore (NUS), led by Adjunct Associate Professor Edmund Sim, visited ASEAN Secretariat this week to obtain first-hand information on the development of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and share the legal aspects of the ASEAN Charter, including Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism.

he Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Mr S. Pushpanathan expressed his support to such visits from the academia as it provides a platform for exchange of information and views that “Injection of ideas from the academia is an important element in providing more policy options to practitioners.. He further added, “While the AEC is fully engaging the business sector at all levels to get feedback on implementation issues, the engagement with academia in a similar vein can assist the thinking process in building a forward-looking AEC”.

r. Sim responded, “It is nothing like hearing directly first hand, on the progress of the AEC and the interpretation of the legal provisions of ASEAN Charter and related agreements. I myself find the exchange of views very enlightening and intend to have such ‘out of classroom’ study visit as part of our regular programme.” The visit covered a number of topics ranging from the ASEAN Charter, current legal structure of ASEAN, structure of AEC, AEC Scorecard and Progress in the AEC and the various trade related agreements such as ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA), ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS), ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA), and the Enhanced Dispute Settlement Mechanism.

The Faculty of Law offers the ASEAN Economic Community “Law and Policy course” which was launched on 11 January 2011 in the NUS. The course seeks to address the increasing integration and legalization efforts of ASEAN after the ASEAN Charter was ratified in 2008.

Each year, The ASEAN Secretariat welcomes thousands of visitors ranging from elementary school to university students; members of governmental institutions; media groups; ASEAN Member States; and other countries through group visits. This is one of the many ways ASEAN is working to help people know more about ASEAN and bringing ASEAN closer to the public.