ASEAN Single Market Could Be as Large as TPP: Economist

The integration of ASEAN ought to be more thoroughly explained to the people of Southeast Asia in order to speed up the creation of a single-market with the potential to be as large as the Trans-Pacific Partnership ( TPP ), said an economist at the 33th anniversary of The Jakarta Post.

Marie Elka Pangestu, an economist at University of Indonesia, who served as trade minister during the Susilo Bambang Yudhoyo era, emphasized the importance of boosting regional trade in Southeast Asia as a new engine of growth amid China’s slowdown and weakening commodity prices.

“We need to view ASEAN as a single market, with a total GDP of US$2.7 trillion, comprising 7 percent of world exports, and growing consumers. Right now, of the total trade value of ASEAN, 24 percent of it comes from intra-ASEAN trade,” she said on Monday in Jakarta.

Moreover, the regional comprehensive economic partnership ( RCEP ) must be promoted more aggressively as it could signal a new era of economic cooperation. “RCEP will comprise about 50 percent of the world population and 30 percent of world trade. It is almost the same with the TPP.” she said.

Unfortunately, according to Mari, the connectivity of ASEAN is not a part of the general consciousness of ASEAN society. Most people in Indonesia do not know about the ASEAN Economic Community.

“In the universities, there are no subjects dealing with ASEAN’s integration. In 2011, there was a presidential instruction on the issue, but later political conditions confused the issue,” she said. 

Source:, 25/04/2016

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