“The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) shall be the goal of regional economic integration by 2015. AEC envisages the following key characteristics: (a) a single market and production base, (b) a highly competitive economic region, (c) a region of equitable economic development, and (d) a region fully integrated into the global economy.
The AEC areas of cooperation include human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC. In short, the AEC will transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital.”
The ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint
When the barriers to trade, investment and development are lifted in 2015 the true importance on the language of trade in the region will emerge. Nations, institutions, industries and individuals that cannot participate in this ASEAN Economic Community will be left behind. Over the past decade countries like Vietnam and Indonesia have spent substantial sums of money in building language and language-teaching capacity. We all know that when it comes to English-language, Malaysia and Singapore are already way ahead of the rest of the ASEAN members. Now is the time to act to ensure that you and your colleagues are ready to take on the challenges on the ASEAN Economic Community launch in 2015.