Political-Security Research Council

The political-security panel will explore ASEAN management of the
single market and potential security challenges after the start of the
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. The AEC would open up
borders among ASEAN member states for the transactions of goods,
services, capital and labour. However, several security questions, such as
transnational crime and terrorism, remain unresolved and could
exacerbate in a border-free ASEAN. Moreover, the management of a single
market would be challenging for ASEAN and perhaps necessitates some
form of regional economic institution. The panel discussion will be centred
on these 2 issues and how ASEAN could overcome such challenges.
The first discussion topic involves security problems facing ASEAN,
in particular transnational crime and terrorism. In October 2014, the
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) representative warned
that “transnational organised crime in Southeast Asia alone is
conservatively estimated to generate close to USD $100 billion per year,
threatening intended economic and social benefits of regional
integration”. The Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2014 released in last
December shows that poppy cultivation in the ‘Golden Triangle’ of
Myanmar and Lao PDR is rising. The heroine produced in the area goes
from Myanmar to neighbouring countries as well as global markets.
Moreover, some ASEAN countries continue to face intra-state violence in
the forms of either terrorism or insurgency. Thailand, for example, has
fought decades-long insurgencies in the four southernmost provinces. Abu
Sayyaf and Jemaah Islamiyah are examples of transnational terrorist
network operating in Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, etc. With the
rise of the Islamic State (IS) in the Middle East, the priority of
counterterrorism is even higher up on both ASEAN and global security
agendas. Thus, ASEAN maritime security capabilities as well as crossborder police cooperation require substantial upgrade, and the political
and security architecture of ASEAN strengthened.
Compared to the AEC, the political-security pillar of ASEAN has seen
only limited progress. Although ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN
Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) have been established over the years,
ASEAN emphasis on preserving sovereignty of each member means that
the overall political and security regional architecture of ASEAN,
sometimes dubbed a ‘paper tiger’, remains weak. The report from Friends
of Europe’s debate in November 2014 pointed to the lack of effective
opposition to China in the South China Sea, and the inability to resolve

a stronger ASEAN institution would enable member states to reach common voice more easily. member states such as the Philippines. competition. Quite often. For instance. The AEC would bring not only trade opportunity but also economic challenges on a regional scale such as labour qualification. The ASEAN Economic Community Scorecard from March 2013 suggests that the region had reached only 77. there were just 300 people in the ASEAN Secretariat. Vietnam and Indonesia have preferred defence ties with the US rather than other partners in ASEAN.internal conflicts such as the South Thailand insurgency. Indonesia has not ratified the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement for the Full Liberalisation of Air Freight Services because it wants to protect domestic aviation industry from regional competitors such as Malaysia.5% of its targets between 2008-March 2013. Singapore and Thailand. This is crucial if ASEAN is to play a more central role in Asian and global politics. its EU counterpart. observes that ASEAN will fall shorts of its goals by 2015. in 2012. The current ASEAN Way of non-interference is unlikely to solve this issue. In addition. is severely underfunded and understaffed. 2014) Clearly. a stronger ASEAN institution to push for integration is required. ASEAN members pursue narrow national interests for short-term benefits. Furthermore. . Jayant Menon. For instance. the negotiation for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). and corporate regulation.000 people. for example. The main institution is the ASEAN Secretariat which. including prescribing standard rules governing licensing and other regulatory regimes Expanding the number of mutual recognition agreements and ensuring that they are implemented in a way that leads to increased skilled labour mobility (Menon. The remaining challenges include: - - - Eliminating non-tariff barriers Strengthening trade facilitation by ensuring implementation of national single windows in the newer member countries to complete the ASEAN Single Window Further liberalising investment and services trade by improving the business climate and reducing the cost of doing business. executive director of ASEAN Consulting Group. The second issue is the management of the single market. compared to the European Commission. lead economist at the Asian Development Bank. while the European Commission employees nearly 34. according to Benny Hutabarat. It remains to be seen which direction ASEAN would take to manage regionally-integrated market.

(2014).The AEC will lead to deeper economic integration for ASEAN countries. 1st ed.org/media/uploads/2014/12/ASEANEconomic-Community-REPORT. In: Friends of Europe. An ASEAN Economic Community by 2015? | VOX. Hutabarat.org/article/asean-economic-community-2015 [Accessed 11 Jan. ASEAN institutions seem to lack the strength necessary to manage the process of integration. 2015]. Available at: http://www. both issues require effective regional institutional building. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2014. 2015]. [online] Thejakartapost.org/documents/southeastasiaandpacific//Publication .pdf [Accessed 9 Jan. 2015].org/unodc/en/frontpage/2014/October/Transnationalorganized-crime-worth-at-least-100-billion-per-year-poses-challengesto-Asian-integration. It will also have political-security implications for ASEAN.org.voxeu. B. 2015]. (2014). (2014). [online] Voxeu.friendsofeurope. Available at: http://www.com.thejakartapost. References ASEAN Economic Community 2015 and its impact on the Security Architecture of South East Asia. Available at: http://www. [ebook] Bangkok. [online] UNODC. Transnational organized crime worth at least USD $100 billion per year poses challenges to Asian integration. Available at: http://www. Clearly. There have been some concerns regarding worsening security threats such as transnational crime and terrorism on which the panel is likely to focus. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).unodc.unodc. [online] Available at: http://www.html [Accessed 10 Jan.html [Accessed 12 Jan.org. (2014). Uncertainty about the impacts of all these challenges and the manner in which the progress may be unfolded will be fascinating subjects for discussion in the political-security panel at the Warwick ASEAN Conference 2015.com/news/2014/11/24/asean-economiccommunity-2015-will-it-happen. (2014). CEPR’s Policy Portal. ASEAN Economic Community 2015: Will it happen?. Menon. J.

pdf [Accessed 12 Jan. 2015].s/2014/ops/SE_ASIA_opium_poppy_2014_web. .