‘ASEAN community a failure’, says academic

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Eduardo C Tadem
Eduardo C Tadem, Associate Professor for Asian Studies

The 10-member bloc of ASEAN as a community has been a failure so far, as the notion of national sovereignty continues to undermine its integration while the identity of the grouping has yet to crystallise, said Eduardo C Tadem, an associate professor of Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman during a discussion at the International Conference on International Relations and Development at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tadem even said the regional grouping needs to come up with a new model of integration, saying by example that countries like Singapore and Thailand are consideredASEAN a conduit to boost their own exports, leading to clashes between national strategies and the grouping’s own goals. He said 20 per cent of the ASEAN Economic Community’s trade protocols were “far too tough and might not be agreed upon by 2015.”

He also cited the well-known 2010 statistics showing intra-ASEAN trade at just 25 per cent of the entire trade in the 10 member states, compared with 67.3 per cent of intra-trading among European Union members.

He said that 3 countries – Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand – dominate intra-Asean trade, accounting for about 70 per cent, and they all have free-trade agreements with countries outside the regional bloc.

The ASEAN Secretariat, too, is weak and understaffed compared with the EU, Tadem said.

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Reading Time: 1 minute

Eduardo C Tadem, Associate Professor for Asian Studies

The 10-member bloc of ASEAN as a community has been a failure so far, as the notion of national sovereignty continues to undermine its integration while the identity of the grouping has yet to crystallise, said Eduardo C Tadem, an associate professor of Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman during a discussion at the International Conference on International Relations and Development at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Reading Time: 1 minute

Eduardo C Tadem
Eduardo C Tadem, Associate Professor for Asian Studies

The 10-member bloc of ASEAN as a community has been a failure so far, as the notion of national sovereignty continues to undermine its integration while the identity of the grouping has yet to crystallise, said Eduardo C Tadem, an associate professor of Asian Studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman during a discussion at the International Conference on International Relations and Development at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand.

Tadem even said the regional grouping needs to come up with a new model of integration, saying by example that countries like Singapore and Thailand are consideredASEAN a conduit to boost their own exports, leading to clashes between national strategies and the grouping’s own goals. He said 20 per cent of the ASEAN Economic Community’s trade protocols were “far too tough and might not be agreed upon by 2015.”

He also cited the well-known 2010 statistics showing intra-ASEAN trade at just 25 per cent of the entire trade in the 10 member states, compared with 67.3 per cent of intra-trading among European Union members.

He said that 3 countries – Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand – dominate intra-Asean trade, accounting for about 70 per cent, and they all have free-trade agreements with countries outside the regional bloc.

The ASEAN Secretariat, too, is weak and understaffed compared with the EU, Tadem said.

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