The Asean Economic Community (AEC) is an achievable vision but it won’t happen by 2015 according to Dato Timothy Ong, the Chairman of Asia Inc Forum, who was the speaker at the event organised by the Britain Brunei Business Forum (BBBF), entitled “The Asean Economic Community: A Business Perspective”. Dato Timothy Ong is no stranger to the business economics of the Asean region and to me, he is the google human of economics who studies and understands the different kinds of factors that influences policies and the business environments especially among Asean countries.
“I still remember of the Asean Summit last year where Brunei was championing the event and the highlight of the Summit was the Asean Economic Community which they envision to be ready by 2015. Dato Timothy Ong believes that such target will be reached but not by 2015. This is because of the different policies, cultures, level of developments (developed and developing countries) and many more. But these factors alone will take some time before all the Asean countries can come to a consensus on AEC. I do have to agree on one strong point Dato raised and that is the level of urgency from different state leaders. Yes, all the state leaders are heading for AEC but perhaps the level of urgency ain’t the same. So this could affect the target of having AEC by 2015.”
After Dato Ong’s delivery on his business perspective, he went on to answer questions raised by the invited guests ranging from deputy permanent secretaries, ambassadors, high commissioners, government officials to entrepreneurs. I have to admit the questions were ongoing until the end of the session and Dato Timothy was the right candidate to respond due to his vast knowledge of Asean policies and business culture.
I really learned more about Asean in that one hour than my history classes back in high school, Thank you to BBBF for the invitation.