Project Case Study
Developing an ASEAN Awareness Strategy for services liberalisation
Developing ASEAN approaches and models for services export promotion
The establishment of an ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 will bring enormous economic opportunities for ASEAN’s ten member countries. These will result mainly from greater market access for exports and a more liberal environment for foreign investment.
There will, however, also be challenges associated with greater competition and short-term pressures on local industries in member countries, to improve their international competitiveness and minimise any negative implications of economic integration.
Whether the envisaged regional free flow of goods, services, investment, capital and professional labour across the region, with its potential to transform the lives of many people living in the region, will translate into greater benefits than costs for member countries will largely depend on how they can take advantage of the greater market access for their exports.
Services are crucial to a country’s economic development, thanks to their potential to contribute to export growth. Consequently, in 2012 we were commissioned by the ASEAN Secretariat under the Australia-ASEAN Development Cooperation Programme, to assist member states in taking advantage of these market and investment opportunities in the services sector, and in overcoming challenges. We worked with officials from the relevant trade ministries and trade promotion agencies along with key private sector players, including services exporters and industry associations.
Previous studies have pointed to the inadequacy of official export promotion activities in ASEAN countries in promoting services, due to a lack of capacity and experience, so we developed approaches and models for services export promotion within the context of ASEAN services liberalisation.
Our work will allow trade promotion agencies in ASEAN to implement services export promotion programs, enabling services providers to take advantage of liberalisation. ASEAN moves towards this goal.
- A broad consensus between trade ministries and trade promotion agencies on the directions and opportunities likely to arise from liberalisation
- Broader adoption of best regional practice in services trade promotion
- Improved understanding amongst trade promotion agencies of a range of trade challenges
- Greater understanding by ASEAN governments of the need to facilitate cross-border commercial presence, and to promote outward as well as inward investment in services
- Enhanced interaction between trade promotion agencies and private sector exporters.