Commentary 2016/60, 15 September 2016
At the 28th ASEAN Summit held recently in Vientiane, the region’s economic integration process advanced into its next phase. The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) 2025 was adopted to continue the aims expressed in MPAC 2010. This new plan concentrates on five strategic areas:
1. Sustainable infrastructure aims to bring together existing resources to provide holistic support for infrastructure projects, including project preparation, improving productivity, and capability building.
2. Digital innovation strives to harness the full potential of digital technologies by establishing regulatory frameworks to spur new digital services, cultivating a culture of sharing best practices on open data, and equipping MSMEs with the capabilities to access these new technologies.
3. Seamless logistics facilitates collaboration between logistics firms, academic institutions, and ASEAN members to identify bottlenecks across key areas of the region’s supply chains.
4. Regulatory excellence supports the implementation of key ASEAN integration policies by focusing on standards harmonisation, mutual recognition and technical regulations, as well as addressing trade distorting non-tariff measures.
5. People mobility focuses on enhancing intra-ASEAN mobility by improving the ease of travel for tourists, as well as promoting skills mobility by establishing high-quality qualification frameworks in critical vocational occupations, and encouraging the freer movement of intra-ASEAN university students.