ASEAN will have unified market by year-end

KUALA LUMPUR — The scheme to build an integrated Southeast Asian market will be launched by the end of this year, but no currency integration is on the scene yet, stated by a senior official of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council during the ASEAN Business Summit.

“It’s probably not on the (meeting) agenda at the moment…Each one of the ASEAN has a different kind of financial district and financial regulations. The merging of that and the harmonization of that is going to be difficult,”

said Michael Michalak.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a group composed of 10 regional countries.

The ASEAN Economic Community project due around year-end aims to launch a single market for goods, services, capital and labor across the bloc. The target is that investors and companies will levy of easier logistics to enter the region’s frontier markets.

Mukhtar Hussain, chief executive of HSBC Malaysia, mentioned that a lot of effort building up drives policy cohesion and aligning countries, governments and policymakers on the benefits of the integration.

“The challenge is the implementation and putting in practical effect the measures that have been discussed among policy makers for some time,”

said Mukhtar.

Most ASEAN countries have managed to meet 90 to 95 percent of their commitments for the rollout of the AEC, said Michalak

Currency union in particular will be a “long way” off as immediate priorities are the liberalization of trade, investment and capital flows.

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