transparent gif


Ej inloggad.

Göteborgs universitets publikationer

A Status Report on the ASEAN & EU-ASEAN Economic Integration in 2007 - including a pilot study on the interests of the Swedish business sector in Singapore.

Författare och institution:
Lena Lindberg (Kulturgeografiska institutionen)
Antal sidor:
Sammanfattning (abstract):
Recent years have seen an exceptional intensification in the number of bilateral and regional free trade agreements/areas (FTAs) all over the world. This trend is highly evident in East Asia, where, apart from bilateral trade agreements (BTAs) between individual countries, a growing number of plurilateral agreements are in the pipeline. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), comprising the ten countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma/Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, has embarked on its road towards an ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) to be concluded by 2010 for its six oldest members and by 2015 for the remaining members. ASEAN has also signed up for various partnership and free trade agreements with external parties, such as China, Japan and Korea. At this very moment, ASEAN also seeks to strengthen its ties with the EU, and FTA negotiations are expected to be launched later this year irrespective of the outcome of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations and the Doha Development Agenda (DDA). In view of these current talks, the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore and the School of Business, Economics and Law at Göteborg University, Sweden, have launched a trade policy project as a first step of joint activities for the years to come. This project involves interviews made with representatives of Swedish companies present in Singapore and with a regional outlook, with the main aim to identify obstacles to trade within the ASEAN region as well as between the EU and the ASEAN regions. The outcome is this status report, which serves a dual purpose. First, it surveys the development and current status of ASEAN’s internal process towards trade liberalisation. Second, it looks into ASEAN’s external affairs with the main focus on the present development in the ASEAN-EU economic relations. A key component in this study is some 15 interviews made with business representatives, as well as interviews with officials representing the EU (the Delegation of the European Commission in Singapore) and ASEAN (the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta). The report will be followed up by a trade policy panel discussion jointly organised by the Embassy of Sweden, the School of Business, Economics and Law at Göteborg University, the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and the Swedish Business Association of Singapore (SBAS), to be attended by officials and representatives of the business community, on May 30, 2007, in Singapore. The main conclusion from the study is that the majority of the interviewed companies face at least some kind of barrier to trade in the region. While Singapore is highly liberal and business-friendly, tariffs were occasionally mentioned as moderate impediments in some other countries. In a couple of cases tariffs were regarded as severe obstacles. Moreover, cumbersome trade procedures and other non-tariff barriers were referred to as time-consuming and therefore costly. It seems, however, that companies in the course of time have learnt how to deal with them. For newcomers, these barriers may pose greater challenges. Most companies cannot make use of AFTA due to no or little local production in the ASEAN region, but a few find it very useful as they save significant duties. One company also makes use of the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation Scheme (AICO) and therefore enjoys additional savings. Several companies argued that they could not really see how they would benefit from an ASEAN-EU FTA, except for those today facing high tariffs in specific sectors. This statement may have been coloured by their location in the exceptionally liberal Singapore. The results of the study point to the need for raising the level of awareness about the potential usefulness of FTAs. Lena Lindberg, Singapore, April 2007.
Ämne (baseras på Högskoleverkets indelning av forskningsämnen):
Social och ekonomisk geografi
EU, ASEAN, FTA, Swedish business sector, Singapore
Ytterligare information:
Report written for the Embassy of Sweden in Singapore.
Postens nummer:
Posten skapad:
2008-01-13 22:01
Posten ändrad:
2011-01-20 09:58

Visa i Endnote-format

Göteborgs universitet • Tel. 031-786 0000
© Göteborgs universitet 2007