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31 January 2021
ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and East Asia in the Changing World Economy
ASEAN has been leading economic integration in East Asia, the fastest growth center in the world economy. ASEAN was established in 1967, and has promoted regional economic integration since 1976, aiming to realize the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) from 1992, and aiming to realize AEC from 2003. At the end of December 2015, ASEAN finally established ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). AEC goals include the free movement of goods, services, capital, investment and skilled labor, and narrowing the economic gap and many other issues. AEC is the most advanced economic integration in East Asia. AEC is promoting ASEAN and East Asian economic development. In 2015, ASEAN set the new goal “AEC 2025” and now is moving toward AEC 2025. Also, ASEAN has been the hub of East Asian multi-layered cooperation initiatives including ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+6, ASEAN+1 FTAs. And ASEAN proposed and is leading negotiations of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
Currently, the world economy is extremely difficult. Protectionism and trade friction are expanding throughout the world. The US has increased trade friction with China and other countries, and protectionism is rapidly increasing in the world. The spread of protectionism and trade friction has a major negative impact on the world economy. The evolving East Asian economy will be hard hit. Furthermore, recently, the coronavirus is having a great negative impact on the world and East Asian economies.
This special issue focuses on AEC and East Asia in the changing world economies. AEC is striving to continue economic development in ASEAN and East Asia. This issue examines AEC from various aspects including AEC’s background, AEC’s goals and policies, their achievements and problems, trade liberalization through AFTA, legal aspects, AEC and Japan relations, AEC and Japanese companies which have great impact on AEC. And this issue considers AEC and China relations, because China has large influence on ASEAN economy. Furthermore, this issue examines ASEAN and Indo-Pacific region from the global value chain (GVC) point of view.
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