Full Asean integration by end-2015 unlikely: Mustapa

By Starbiz
15 May, 2016
As appeared in StarBiz

SINGAPORE: While significant progress has been made to integrate the economies of the 10 member states of Asean, the region is not expected to achieve full integration by the end of this year as outlined in the Asean Economic Community (AEC) blueprint.

Malaysia’s Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said on Thursday: “We have accepted the fact that we are not going to achieve 100% of the integration measures by the end of 2015.

“We have made significant progress towards integration our economies, but there is still a lot more work to be done.”

Mustapa said this in his keynote address at the third annual Asean Business Club (ABC) Forum here.

Meanwhile, Chairman of CIMB Group Bhd Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said he was anxious over the commitment of Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s commitment towards the AEC.

“Indonesia’s commitment towards the AEC has been ambiguous… we’re waiting for Jokowi’s statement on his stand on Asean,” Nazir said.

“Asean is nothing without Indonesia, so I hope the country will take the lead in the AEC,” he added.

With a gross domestic product worth US$870bil, Indonesia is the largest economy in Asean. It also has the largest population of about 250 million.