Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI)

Given the differing development within ASEAN, there is a need to ensure that its deepening and broadening integration is accompanied by technical and development cooperation to address this development divide and accelerate economic integration of the less developed AMC. This is so that benefits of this integration are spread across ASEAN, and allows the region to move forward in a unified manner.

The IAI launched in November 2000 provides the direction and sharpens the focus of collective efforts to narrow the development gap not only within ASEAN but between ASEAN and other parts of the world as well. The IAI currently covers the following priority areas: infrastructure, human resource development, ICT, capacity-building for regional economic integration, energy, investment climate, tourism, poverty reduction and improvement in the quality of life.

Meeting the AEC challenge (please refer to Page 20 for greater detail) will require CLMV to develop policies to strengthen economic growth, boost economic competitiveness, increase domestic and FDIs and expand private-sector enterprises, whilst  meeting its public goals.

Some actions outlined to achieve IAI include: 

  • enhancing IAI as a platform for identifying and implementing technical assistance and capacity building programmes for the public and private sectors in ASEAN member states, particularly CLMV and other sub-regional arrangements, such as the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle and the Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines – East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) within ASEAN to allow them to be equal partners in the development of regional production and distribution networks;
  • the ASEAN6 to continue supporting IAI programmes; 
  • garnering sufficient support from dialogue partners and international organisations, such as the ADB and the WB, for effective implementation of the IAI programmes;
  • building / strengthening the capacity of government officials to develop and implement economic and social policies that would mitigate the effects of economic integration; and 
  • conducting periodic socio-economic studies to monitor / evaluate the impact of economic integration.