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By Rodolfo C. Severino

When you consider that its founding in 1967, the organization of Southeast Asian international locations has been an more and more huge a part of the lifetime of Southeast Asia, even though most folk within the area understand little or no approximately it. ASEAN has helped carry peace and balance to the zone. It has effectively engaged the world's significant powers, in East Asia and past. ASEAN has taken steps to combine the neighborhood financial system as a big technique of cooperatively bettering the region's competitiveness, attracting investments, producing jobs, elevating earning, and reducing expenses and costs. ASEAN has additionally shaped networks for facing nearby difficulties like communicable illnesses, environmental degradation, and transnational crime. an important a part of the Southeast Asia history sequence, this publication seeks to shed a few gentle on what ASEAN is all approximately.

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Many services sectors are also directly supportive of the production of and trade in goods. The quality and effectiveness of certain services are often a factor in investment decisions. In December 1995, ASEAN concluded the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services, which was meant to remove most restrictions on intra-regional trade in services, liberalizing such trade beyond the commitments made under the global General Agreement on Trade in Services. Since then, ASEAN has concluded five packages of commitments involving business services, construction, distribution, education, environmental services, health care, maritime transport, telecommunications and tourism.

This is reflected in the fact that most ASEAN governments do not feel any pressure from their business sectors to accelerate the pace of regional economic integration. Despite all this, some progress is being made, albeit slowly. The November 2007 ASEAN Summit adopted a blueprint for achieving the ASEAN Economic Community, with clear schedules. It remains to be seen, of course, whether the time lines prescribed in the blueprint will be complied with. Meanwhile, China, India and others in the world are not standing still.

It has adopted certain norms to achieve greater coordination, consistency and efficiency in customs operations in the region, but the progress of reform in the practices of national customs administrations is quite uneven. ASEAN has committed itself to product standardization and has adopted common standards for certain products. It has agreed on some form of mutual recognition arrangements for two sectors — cosmetics and electrical and electronic equipment — and is working on a third — pharmaceuticals.

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