There is no single or simple solution to ensure SMEs benefit from regional integration schemes – ASEAN economies need to fix key productivity, regulatory, infrastructure, and financing gaps.
TPP and RCEP are not perfect, but they can unlock Asian trade liberalization and growth. Supporting open accession, an eventual Asia-Pacific FTA and complementary national policies will help achieve this end.
We look forward to making more progress on implementing the pact for both passenger and freight vehicles to cross swiftly and easily between Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal.
The future of the AEC depends on ASEAN member states making economic and labor market conditions more conducive for foreign workers.
Regional solutions within Asia, reinforced by boosting inter-regional trade and investment with Europe as an engine of global growth, can help counter the threats to globalization.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership offers hope in in an ocean of trade policy pessimism.
Rail transport can help slash travel time, lower freight costs, and expand cross-border freight consignments across and beyond the region.
Greater skills mobility can bring more equal opportunities and help close the income gap.
CAREC countries are making progress toward enabling e-commerce as automation improves, infrastructure spreads to rural areas, and regional cooperation promotes cross-border exchanges.
Achieving full and free movement of goods, capital, and people within the ASEAN Economic Community is a long process that must continue beyond 2015.