ASEAN moves in right direction in forming AEC

NUSAJAYA, June 9 (PNA/Bernama) — ASEAN is heading in the right direction in forming the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by year-end as it would provide a massive marketplace for companies looking for better growth in the region, a banker said.

Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia managing director and chief executive officer Mahendra Gursahani said however, it would take some time for the AEC to settle down as there were too many challenges that needed to be addressed.

“It is not easy to get all the 10 ASEAN member states to agree to every detail of the law. It has to be relevant, apart from understanding how forming this union is going to benefit their own population and interest.

“There is always conflict within, but I think we (ASEAN) are driving in the right direction,” he told reporters after the launch of the Elevating Cross-Border Opportunities in ASEAN and Beyond Summit here Tuesday.

Organised by Standard Chartered, the summit is attended by trade delegations from the UK and ASEAN member states.

Mahendra said in the Malaysian context, local companies are still not ready for the AEC even though they are aware of the opportunities before them.

“For them to look beyond the border, I think they need to see examples of various works, including the modules,” he added.

Standard Chartered Bank commercial clients global head Andrew Bainbridge said it is not easy for ASEAN to form an economic community as experienced by Europe some years ago.

“I grew up in Europe where we saw the creation of a common market of good and services which is similar to the AEC and it does take time. It was not easy.

“But as Mahendran said earlier, ASEAN is moving forward and you should take it positively and accept the difficult process to live in the framework of the AEC,” he said. (PNA/Bernama)