Development of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) Work Plan 2017-2020

Status : Ongoing The ASEAN Tourism Ministers (ATM) signed the Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) on 9 November 2012 aiming at facilitating the mobility of tourism professionals within the region. In 2010, the ATM endorsed the MRA-TP Follow-up Implementation Requirements 2010-2015 covering the plan to establish MRA infrastructure and capacity development for members of related organisations under MRA-TP at the regional and national level. Several projects and activities were carried out under this Plan, including, among others, establishment of 242 toolboxes for all divisions under MRA-TP, establishment of pool master trainers and master assessors, the conclusion of Regional Secretariat of MRA-TP agreement, and finalization of the ASEAN Tourism Professionals Registration System (ATPRS). With most of the necessary regional infrastructure is in place, implementation of MRA-TP is now facing new challenges in operationalizing the instrument. Supporting Regional Secretariat of MRA-TP, maintaining and updating regional infrastructure, increasing the “buy-in” of MRA-TP, enhancing quality assurance of MRA-TP and recognition of prior learning mechanism are among those challenges faced at the regional level. While, at national level, challenges are also faced particularly on national regulations, establishment of national trainers and assessors, and certification mechanisms. There is a need to assess the progress of implementation to date and systematically identify these challenges, identify risks and opportunities, and develop a well-informed, results-oriented work plan that will guide the ASEAN Tourism Professional Monitoring Committee (ATPMC) in taking strategic actions to promote implementation of the MRA-TP. This project will have two outputs: a) the ASEAN MRA-TP implementation review, which will assess current progress in the implementation of the MRA-TP, test assumptions, capture relevant context, identify...

ASEAN at 50, a Historic Milestone for FDI and MNEs in ASEAN

Status: Ongoing This project produces the “ASEAN at 50, a Historic Milestone for FDIs and MNEs in ASEAN” publication, which will be launched as part of the 50th year anniversary of ASEAN. The publication examines and documents the region’s achievements in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)/ Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) in the furtherance of economic development over the course of the last 50 years. With an extensive use of tables, charts, boxes/cases and infographics, it charts the evolution in the scale, scope and characteristics of FDI across ASEAN, thereby supporting the transformation of the region and its constituent Member States. ASEAN has grown from one among many developing regions seeking the attention of international investors to a region of choice for many MNEs. It is the only developing region with a significant and diverse level of regional integration and value chains, in large part led by MNEs, both foreign and increasingly from ASEAN. The publication will evaluate what has been achieved, explain how challenges have been addressed, and offer an analysis of FDI and MNE development in the context of past policies and AEC 2015 and 2025. The publication will highlight how MNE strategies have evolved in the region over the years, including the symbiotic evolution of regional policy development and corporate strategies. Aspects covered will include the drivers, motivations and determinants of FDI in the region; key players among MNEs in the processes leading to stronger regional integration; regional production networks in the context of Global Value Chains and Regional Value Chains; and the overall impact of FDI and regional production networks on growth and...

Process refinement and training of ASEAN Tourism Master Trainers and Master Assessors

Status: Completed. This project aims to develop a pool of ASEAN Master Assessors and Trainers for Travel Agencies and Tour Operations divisions. The Project reviewed and updated existing toolboxes for Master Trainer and Master Assessor developed by the Project on Training of ASEAN Master Trainers and Master Assessor for Front Office, Food and Beverage Services and Food Production Divisions completed in 2015. At the same time, the Project also identified mechanism of certification of master trainers and master assessor and their roles in the implementation of MRA-TP. In December 2016, the project supported the training for ASEAN Master Assessors and Trainers for Travel Agencies and Tour Operations Divisions and produce a tutorial training video to create better understanding and to ensure that future delivery of similar trainings will be consistent. Related project: Training of ASEAN Master Trainers and Master Assessor for Front Office, Food and Beverage Services and Food Production Divisions Development of the ASEAN Tourism Professionals Registration System...

Addressing Gaps in the establishment of an ASEAN Consumer Protection Framework Phase I

Status: Ongoing. This project supports implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Action Plan on Consumer Protection 2016-2025 (ASAPCP). It is in line with the need to develop a common ASEAN Consumer Protection Framework, which is Goal 1 in the ASAPCP. While this project will not support the establishment of the framework itself, it will address urgent legal, capacity and awareness gaps that hinder AMS from establishing such framework. It will produce five key outputs: ASEAN High Level Principles for Consumer Protection; ASEAN Consumer Protection Self-Assessment Kit; Teaching Tools to Apply Good Consumer Protection Practices in 6 Priority Sectors; Capacity Building Road Map 2017-2020; and ASEAN Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Guidelines. This project is expected to conclude in 2019. Related projects: Developing the ASEAN Post-2015 Consumer Protection Action Plan: Meeting the Challenges of a People-Centered ASEAN Beyond 2015 Strengthening Technical Competency for Consumer Protection in...

Study on Establishing an ASEAN Telecommunications Single Market

Status: ongoing This project will identify and recommend possible pathways and a roadmap to support the establishment of an ASEAN telecommunications single market, which is part of the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity. It will enable stakeholders of the ASEAN telecommunications industry to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the global, regional, the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Member States (AMS) market environments; by: (i) Conducting a study on the feasibility of establishing an ASEAN Telecommunications Single Market – the costs, benefits and risks; and (ii) Assessing AMS regulatory and industry readiness for an ASEAN Telecommunications Single Market – the issues, challenges and proposed measures to address them; and (iii) Formulating regulatory recommendations and a proposed roadmap and timeline for establishing an ASEAN Telecommunications Single Market. The project is expected to conclude in the third quarter of 2017....

Study on Mutual Recognition Models for the ASEAN Agricultural Best Practices

Status: Ongoing The ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry has endorsed the ASEAN Agricultural Best Practices, which consist of Good Agriculture Practices for Fruits and Vegetables (endorsed in 2006), Good Animal Husbandry Practices for Broilers and Layers (endorsed in 2014) and the Good Aquaculture Practices for Food Fish (endorsed in 2014) as guidelines to improve quality assurance, enhance quality of products, and minimise hazards in food safety, environmental impacts, and  worker health, safety and welfare. In addition, a number of ASEAN standards in agriculture products such as those for organic agriculture and horticultural produce have been developed. As a priority area for integration, the harmonization of standards and trade certifications are expected to enhance trade among ASEAN Member States (AMS) as well as promote long-term competitiveness in the global market of agricultural products from ASEAN. Adoption of these standards by AMS is not mandatory, but they serve as benchmarks for AMS in developing or improving their own agricultural practice standards. Beyond the benefits in food safety and farmer’s health and welfare, ASEAN sees the need for establishing an efficient mechanism for implementing the standards both at the national and regional level. As agricultural standards and guidelines are important in the procurement and risk reduction processes, the presence of a regionally recognised and acceptable mechanism to support their operationalisation will increase the chances of AMS to hook up with the regional as well global agrifoods value chain. This mechanism will define how the ASEAN standards are applied and operationalized, at the national and the regional level, by various relevant institutions at both level, through new or existing regional institutions and...