What is the ASEAN INTEGRATION of 2015?
Since its inception, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has continually sought to create a true ASEAN Economic Community, where its Member States – Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Brunei, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines – work together to achieve political stability, economic integration, and social cohesiveness. In order to realize a true ASEAN Economic Community this 2015, the Philippines, along with the other ASEAN Member States, have sought to boost investments, job creation, income, and the overall economic progress in the South East Asian Region by prompting ASEAN Member States to be open to zero import duties for ASEAN products and services by 2015.
How will the ASEAN INTEGRATION affect Philippine companies?
While the ASEAN Integration of 2015 seeks to level the playing field among the industries within the region, this change also means facing a wider market and production base, and a progressive demand for improvement, innovation, quality, and productivity for ASEAN products and services. This also means that companies may be faced with either greater opportunities, if sufficiently prepared, or greater challenges, if their businesses are left unguarded. The only thing certain is that a fiercer competition among businesses is inevitable.
Throughout the years, organizations and industries within the ASEAN Region have sought to improve the quality of their products and services. These efforts for continuous innovation make the competition among industries a great challenge. Thus, it is very substantial to create leverage to address this competition, by planning ahead and conducting strategic planning workshops, with greater focus on the ASEAN challenge.
What should be the NEXT STEP for industries and organizations in the Philippines?
Plan ahead. Economists have a mixed forecast on the impact of the ASEAN Integration to the Philippine setting, but businesses have already included the ASEAN Integration as an important agenda in their Strategic Planning for 2015 and beyond, to maximize its benefits and, as much as possible, minimize inherent disadvantages. Know the ASEAN Market, know the competition, and know where your company is headed through this change.