Munir: Credible AEC Will Shape Outcome Of Political-security, Socio-cultural Pillars

22 August 2015
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By Mohd Khairi Idham Amran

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 (Bernama) -- ASEAN Economic Ministers should ensure a credible ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), that will also shape the outcome of the political-security and socio-cultural pillars.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council chairman Tan Sri Munir Majid the people of the region are expecting the AEC to be accountable and determine how the 10-member states can get closer culturally and even politically.

"If they don't come out with a credible AEC, even those other two pillars won't make progress, and the total ASEAN community won't be realised.

"Therefore, they have a great responsibility to ensure when meeting, that their proposals actually are concrete and credible. In making any announcement, it must be something the community can look forward to," he told Bernama.

Speaking in conjunction with the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting (AEM) and Related Meetings, which opened here today, Munir also touched on the vertical structure of the decision making process in ASEAN, describing it as exposed to working in isolation.

"If you look at the chart of the ASEAN decision making process, it is very vertical. You can see at least 10 or 11 ministers involved, all going up to the ASEAN leaders for a decision.

"It is better to have a horizontal chart for the organisation. You have to look at how to improve cost communication among various ministries," he said.

He noted that one suggestion is to create an ASEAN Affairs Minister, responsible for effecting decisions to be reached by the ASEAN leaders, on the domestic level.

He explained that such a ministry would not be taking over the responsibilities of other ministries, but more on accelerating implementation of decisions reached by ASEAN leaders, such as legislative process and communication to the people on domestic economies.

The AEM will put the finishing touches to the formal establishment of the AEC by year-end.