PHNOM PENH, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in Cambodia on Monday launched here a publication titled "An Evolving ASEAN: Vision and Reality", according to its press release.
The book launch was attended by government officials and key players from the private sector to reflect on the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) performance against its vision of economic integration, the release said.
Panelists discussing the topic at the event considered the effects of regional and global developments, including trade tensions and progress in other regional groupings including the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership on the regional community and the needs of the private sector, it added.
“Despite recognized shortfalls in implementation in some areas, ASEAN formally launched the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in December 2015,” said ADB country director for Cambodia Sunniya Durrani-Jamal.
“With the discourse now having shifted to the vision and direction for ASEAN 2025, it is timely to reflect on the past and plan for the promising future of ASEAN regional economic integration,” she said.
Jayant Menon, ADB’s lead economist on trade and regional cooperation and a co-editor of the publication, said ASEAN is at a crossroads.
“Although the AEC has enjoyed some notable successes, the vision of economic integration has yet to be fully realized,” he said.
“The (181-page) book reviews the evolution of ASEAN economic integration by comparing the vision of its original thinkers with subsequent reality. It also examines the challenges that emerged during the past decade and provides recommendations on how to overcome them,” he added.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.