The Mid Term Review (MTR) of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025 was successfully launched on the 28 April 2021 by the ASEAN Secretariat in collaboration with ARISE Plus. The welcome and opening remarks of this virtual event was delivered by H.E. Dato Lim Jock Hoi the Secretary-General of ASEAN and this was followed by the remarks by H.E Igor Driesmans, EU Ambassador to ASEAN. It was attended by over 200 participants.
In his opening remarks the Secretary General of ASEAN stressed on the value of the MTR to further economic integration efforts in the region and emphasized on the need to “accelerate our implementation, focusing on quality and high-impact measures and those that deliver real benefits to our people.” The Secretary General also expressed his “warm appreciation to the EU, particularly the ARISE Plus Programme and all experts involved in the review, for their support and contribution.”
The Ambassador of the EU to ASEAN congratulated ASEAN on the successful completion of the MTR. He spoke briefly about the need to be prepared to face uncertainty of the global economic outlook and challenges brought about by the Covid 19 pandemic and also the importance of being able to benefit from the emerging positive global economic trends. The Ambassador acknowledged the value of the comprehensive recommendations provided by the MTR in pursuing phase two of the ASEAN economic integration journey and expressed the continues support that the EU will provide to ASEAN; “We shall continue to support AEC integration efforts building on the recommendations of the MTR.”
H.E. Satvinder Singh, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Economic Community and panelist, Dr. May Faezah Arifin, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance and Economy and HLTF-EI1 Lead, Brunei Darussalam and Dr. Ar. Siti Rozaimeriyanty Hj Abd Rahman, Chairperson of ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2021, offered further insights of ASEAN economic integration and actively engaged with participants during the panel discussion session.
The MTR of the AEC Blueprint 2025 comprises of five main sections; introduction, macro-overview, compliance, outcomes and impact, recommendations and advancing the AEC: recovering and rebuilding together. It also contains a foreword from Dato Lim Jock Hoi and offers five overarching key messages. The MTR was undertaken by the ASEAN Integration Monitoring Directorate (AIMD) of the ASEAN Secretariat with the strong collaboration and support from a team of experts from ARISE Plus who have been supporting the MTR for over 18 months.
The MTR exercise involved engagement with various stakeholders including sectoral bodies, business councils, businesses and research institutes among others. The report is based on a rigorous analysis and synthesis of data as highlighted in the image. The MTR is an example of the high quality technical assistance and analytical support provided by ARISE Plus to support ASEAN Economic Community decision making and integration efforts. The MTR will be used as the major planning document for the AEC from 2021 until 2025.
The report is accompanied by useful charts, graphs and infographics to provide a better reading experience for a wide audience. The full report, recording of the launch event and video highlights of the report can be accessed via https://asean.org/storage/2021/04/mid-term-review-report.pdf
With the call for action to do more, do faster and do better the MTR Report is beneficial to anyone interested and engaged in economic activities in the region.
1 High Level Task Force on Economic Integration