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Global Megatrends: Implications for the ASEAN Economic Community (2017)

This publication aims to further increase awareness of key issues and drivers of global megatrends, and draw out their relevance and implications for the ASEAN integration agenda. It focuses on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and, more specifically, how the AEC may be impacted by and can respond to megatrends.

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) enters its second year of establishment in a changing world, partly driven by global megatrends. The transformative changes brought about by global megatrends do not happen overnight, but are rapid enough to warrant prompt anticipation.  The AEC Blueprint 2025 is envisioned to create a more dynamic and resilient ASEAN, capable of responding and adjusting to emerging challenges, including from global megatrends. In this new phase of economic integration, the AEC needs to be responsive in its policy processes.

ASEAN and the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) have responded to changes in the wider region and at the global level. ASEAN, especially the AEC, will continue to respond to the global megatrends; the common themes and phenomena that are already unfolding, whose implications are broad, cross-cutting, profound and transformative, and would change the way individuals, businesses and societies live and do business for many years to come. Given the lasting impact of global megatrends, it is important for any community, including the AEC, to learn to adapt to, address and — to the extent possible — capitalise on them.

Among the megatrends discussed in this book are:

  • The political megatrends, specifically (i) geopolitics and security, (ii) geo-economics and the international liberal order, and (iii) national politics and the resurgence of populism.
  • Technologies and the digital economy
  • The interlinkages between economic and social issues, including linkages to human rights and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  • Enviromental protection and sustainable development
  • Urbanisation
This book was published by the ASEAN Secretariat in collaboration with the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA).
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