MNCs in Southeast Asia
The arrival of the ASEAN Economic Community is widely expected to add momentum to the region’s ongoing integration. It builds on the already robust gains achieved by the region’s Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

Businesses are most upbeat about the emergence of a single production base in ASEAN, and the rollout of an ASEAN Single Window that facilitates cargo clearance and the exchange of data between countries.

Yet pragmatism also prevails among multinationals about how the AEC would pan out in practice:
  • The ASEAN Economic Community is built on a consensus-based approach, rather than the rules-based one associated with the EU
  • This means that ASEAN countries are not pooling their sovereignty, but each has significant latitude over how far they would implement AEC’s rules
  • While tariff barriers have fallen, non-tariff measures remain sticky
  • Labour remains highly regulated, so constrains the free movement of labour envisioned in the Blueprint
How should businesses plan their ASEAN strategies in the light of the AEC? We speak with some of KPMG’s leaders advising global clients on their strategies for ASEAN.
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