ASEAN leaders have declared their commitment to achieve an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. Doing so requires cooperation and coordination within and among the ten individual member states. With the varying considerations that countries have towards full liberalisation, protectionism still persists in certain sectors of the economy. Much needs to be done to address the gaps in domestic reforms, infrastructure, human resource development, and adequate institutions. Moreover, as effective integration can be achieved only with business sector participation, policymakers play a vital role in boosting the engagement of businesses in ASEAN integration. With the limited time available, ASEAN needs to focus on “core” elements of integration and implement them in the shortest possible time. The rest can follow beyond 2015. With this in mind, this edited volume examines the state of readiness in member states for ASEAN integration, and the challenges for businesses to come on board. It gives recommendations for some of the issues faced by stakeholders.
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