Southeast Asia and the OECD
A mutually beneﬁcial partnership
Southeast Asia is one of the fastest-growing regions in the world, with vast endowments of natural resources, a diversiﬁed economy, an expanding middle class, and a young and dynamic population. The creation of an integrated ASEAN economic community beginning in 2015 will generate even more opportunities for growth and employment across the region. However, sustaining this growth, and closing the development gaps that exist within and among Southeast Asian economies, will require reforms in critical areas, such as investment, education, infrastructure and tax. Strong institutional capacity will be needed to make these reforms happen.The OECD has a long history of work with countries of the region and has deﬁned Southeast Asia as a region of strategic priority. We are pleased that this engagement has been further strengthened by the launching of the OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme at the 2014 OECD Ministerial Council Meeting. This new Programme will help enhance OECD engagement with Southeast Asia and foster the exchange of good practices and mutual learning among policy makers in the region and OECD countries. It will raise the political relationship to a more strategic, whole-of-government level. The Programme will help support domestic priorities and regional integration eﬀorts by informing and supporting policy reforms. The OECD looks forward to a closer partnership with the countries of Southeast Asia. We believe that this collaboration will not only help strengthen regional growth and development prospects, but also help us address joint global challenges, where we can all gain from sharing perspectives. The partnership between Southeast Asia and the OECD will help us deliver to all our citizens better policies for better lives.