History of AEC

ASEAN was developed from an organization called the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA), a group consisting of the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand that was formed in 1961. The bloc itself, however, was inaugurated on 8 August 1967, when foreign ministers of five countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand – met at the Thai Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok and signed the ASEAN Declaration, more commonly known as the Bangkok Declaration. The block grew when Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia have become members in 1984, 1995, 1997 (Laos & Myanmar) and 1999, respectively. There are almost 500 million people from the expansion of this economy community.

During the 9th ASEAN summit on October 7th, 2003 in Indonesia, the leader of the 10 ASEAN member countries agreed to establishment of the AEC, which consists of 3 pillars.

  1. ASEAN Economic Community: AEC
  2. Socio-Cultural Pillar
  3. Political and Security Pillar

ASEAN motto is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”

The establishment was expected to complete in 2020, but it was hasten to be accomplished in 2015. The next step was to form ASEAN Charter that has been effective since 2009. This is the further collaboration of ASEAN to step into the community establishment with the strength of laws and regulation base as well as the support from organization to reach the target in 2015.

At present, there are 10 member countries: Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Brunei.

The first pillar, ASEAN Economic Community: AEC, will drive the movement of product, service, investment and skilled labor, freely. By this objective, in 2007, the AEC Blueprint was arranged. It is the integration plan for economy with time frame that indicates actions in order to reach the target in 2015. In the future, AEC will become ASEAN+3: ASEAN with China, South Korea and Japan. Then, there will be negotiation for ASEAN+6: ASEAN with China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India.