ASEAN Studies Centre

The Potential and Prerequisites for ASEAN-Japan Cross-Border Digital Payments


Bryan Tan Jia Yang and Katrina Navallo explore possibilities for a cross-border digital payment arrangement between ASEAN and Japan.


Timor-Leste in ASEAN: Is It Ready to Join?


After more than a decade of deliberations, ASEAN leaders agreed on 11 November 2022 in principle to admit Timor-Leste as the eleventh member of the regional organization and to grant Timor-Leste observer status to attend all ASEAN meetings. Timor-Leste has demonstrated positive developmental progress, and fact-finding missions across the three ASEAN Community pillars have returned generally optimistic results.

However, an assessment of Timor-Leste’s ability to fulfil its commitments and obligations reveals that the country will need to close the gap with the ten existing members on matters such as the ratification and implementation of legally binding agreements and derivative work plans. Creating enforcement mechanisms and finding ways to implement commitments at the local level will be important.

Timor-Leste has put in place institutional structures and implementing agencies for advancing cooperation with ASEAN. It is also moving towards harmonizing its laws with ASEAN instruments. However, its capacity remains in question due to a lack of substantive knowledge and technical expertise among government officials, as well as inadequate infrastructure, logistics and facilities for hosting ASEAN meetings.

Strengthening human capital will be a top priority for Timor-Leste. This includes not only enhancing its personnel’s knowledge and technical expertise on ASEAN processes and procedures but also skills such as English language proficiency and negotiation. Coordinated capacity-building assistance from ASEAN and dialogue partners will be important. These efforts must also be met with economic diversification and growth of its nascent private sector.


ASEAN-EU Partnership Remains Vital to Sustain Multilateralism in A Shifting Global Order


Ahead of the 24th ASEAN-EU Ministerial Meeting, Joanne Lin looks at ways in which ASEAN and the EU may strengthen multilateralism as partners in integration.


Connectivity and Resilience in the ASEAN Power Grid 2.0 under Laos’ ASEAN Chairmanship


Sharon Seah and Mirza Sadaqat Huda examine Laos’ potential role in leading regional energy interconnectivity in ASEAN.


Towards AEC 2025 and Beyond: Making the Most of Laos’ 2024 ASEAN Chairmanship


Sanchita Basu Das and Julia Tijaja suggest ways in which Laos can advance its Chairmanship priorities under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).


ASEAN Matters for America / America Matters for ASEAN


ASEAN Matters for America/America Matters for ASEAN explores the important and multi-faceted relationship between the United States and the 10 ASEAN member states. The sixth edition of the publication was launched in 2023.


Southeast Asian Affairs 2023


Southeast Asian Affairs, produced since 1974, is an annual review of significant trends and developments in the region.

In the 2023 edition, ASEAN Studies Centre Co-coordinator Joanne Lin contributes an article on Cambodia’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2022. The article highlights that despite doubts from critics, Cambodia has made significant strides in displaying competence and maturity to chair ASEAN in an extremely challenging year and to navigate various contentious issues within the grouping.


Laos as ASEAN Chair: Flying into Headwinds


Joanne Lin looks at Laos’ priorities as ASEAN Chair next year and examines the challenges that the country will face.


Digging Deeper with DEFA


As the first round of negotiations for the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) approaches, Kristina Fong discusses critical aspects to consider that will make the DEFA successful in bridging the digital divide and facilitating more meaningful digital integration.


GVC Reconfiguration: Risks and Opportunities for ASEAN Members (Trends in Southeast Asia Issue 4 / 2023)


The Trends in Southeast Asia series serves as in-depth analysis of contemporary geopolitical and socio-economic forces in the region.

In Issue 4 / 2023, ASC researchers Sithanonxay Suvannaphakdy and Pham Thi Phuong Thao gauge the position of ASEAN in global value chains (GVCs) and assess the risks and opportunities of GVC reconfiguration, amidst the backdrop of different global disruptions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical tensions and US-China trade disputes, and the Russia-Ukraine war.