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Saturday, May 3, 2014

The AEC is not ASEAN: The AEC is One-Third of ASEAN

When people think of ASEAN, they automatically think of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Most people think ASEAN is the AEC and the AEC is ASEAN. Most seem to ignore the fact that ASEAN is not only made up of the AEC but also the ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC) and the ASEAN Social Cultural Community (ASCC). The AEC does not exist without the APSC and the ASCC.

Most of the issues that most writers criticize the AEC for are not even part of the goals of the 2015 AEC. They might, however, fall under the APSC or the ASCC and are being addressed by ASEAN as we speak. In fact, most writers don’t realize that we are moving towards the ASEAN community in 2015 which includes the AEC, ASPC, and the ASCC.

Here’s a small history lesson:

August 8th, 1967 (46 years ago), in Bangkok, Thailand, 5 nations; Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore, joined together and signed the Bangkok Declaration that started ASEAN.
16 years ago, in December 1997, the ASEAN Vision 2020 was conceived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This was the predecessor to the current process most people today refer to as the AEC.
By 1999, five other nations joined ASEAN which brought the total to 10 nations that currently represent ASEAN.

In 2003, 10 years ago, the Declaration of the ASEAN Community, also known as the ASEAN Concord II was established and laid the foundation for the 3 communities of ASEAN. Between 2003 and 2006, the blueprints for the 3 ASEAN communities mapped out a path for ASEAN to reach its ASEAN Vision 2020 goal.

In 2007, ASEAN decided to accelerate the ASEAN Vision 2020 to 2015.

In 2008, 5 years ago, The ASEAN Political Security Community, the Economic Community, and the Social Cultural Community initiated the paths in blueprints that 10 nations have been working on and expect to complete December 31st, 2015. 

Each year since 2008 Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals have been laid out, pursued, and for the most part, accomplished. 2015 is the ASEAN integration finish line that will have taken almost 50 years to complete. 

If you would like to know exactly what is happening in ASEAN please look at the ASEAN website at www.asean.org. Everything is there in English for the world to read. 

Thanks for reading.