The Evolution of ASEAN Economic Cooperation


About the Seminar & Book Launch

The formation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1967 was originally driven by political and security concerns. In the decades that followed, ASEAN’s scope evolved to include an ambitious and progressive economic agenda. In December 2015, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was formally launched. Although AEC has enjoyed some notable successes, the vision of economic integration has yet to be fully realized. This seminar reviews the evolution of ASEAN economic integration by comparing the vision of its original thinkers with subsequent reality. It also examines the challenges that emerged during the past decade and provides recommendations on how to overcome them.

The seminar is held in conjunction with the publication of the book titled “An Evolving ASEAN: Vision and Reality” edited by Jayant Menon and Cassey Lee and published by the Asian Development Bank.

09.30 am – 10.00 am  Registration
10.00 am – 10.10 am  Welcome Remarks
10.10 am – 10.30 am  Presentation by Jayant Menon
10.30 am – 11.00 am  Panel Discussion featuring Chia Siow Yue, Tang Siew Mun and Barath Harithas

11.00 am – 11.30 am  Q&A


About the Speaker

Jayant Menon is Lead Economist in the Office of the Chief Economist at the Asian Development Bank in Manila, Philippines, where he works on trade, international investment and development issues. He joined ADB in 1999 and has worked on the India Desk, the Regional Economic Monitoring Unit, the Southeast Asia Department, and the Office for Regional Economic Integration. He also had a stint at the ADB Institute in Tokyo between 2005-2008. One of his key accomplishments at ADB was to develop the Trade stream, and assemble a team, which he later headed. Prior to joining ADB, he worked as an academic in Australia for more than a decade, mainly at the Centre of Policy Studies at Monash University in Melbourne. He has also worked at the University of Melbourne, Victoria University, and the American University in Washington, DC. He has a Ph.D from the University of Melbourne.

Panel Discussants

Chia Siow Yue is Senior Research Fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA). Dr Chia was formerly Director of the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute; Director of the Singapore APEC Study Centre; founding Regional Coordinator of the East Asian Development Network (EADN); and Professor of Economics at the National University of Singapore. She obtained her Ph.D. in Economics from McGill University (Canada).

Tang Siew Mun is the Head of the ASEAN Studies Centre at the ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, where he is concurrently Senior Fellow at the Regional Strategic and Political Studies programme. He is Managing Editor of ASEANFocus. Prior to joining ISEAS, he was Director for Foreign Policy and Security Studies at the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia and Senior Lecturer at the National University of Malaysia (UKM). He holds a Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Political Science.

Barath Harithas is the Director (Southeast Asia) with the Asia Business Trade Association (ABTA). Barath began his career in the Foreign Service where he served on the US Desk. He subsequently moved to the Ministry of Trade and Industry where he was part of the Policy Team for the landmark Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Barath has a B.A. in Political Science from the National University of Singapore.


For registration, please click here. Registration closes on 20 September 2019.


Sep 23 2019


10:00 am - 11:30 am


ISEAS Seminar Room 2