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Economy

ASEAN's time to shine

Community bursting with potential as it enters second year

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The skyline of Ho Chi Minh City is changing rapidly thanks to huge investment in real estate.   © Reuters

The first anniversary of the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community looms at the end of the year and it seems the trading bloc of 10 Southeast Asian nations is at something of a crossroads.

Following the surprise U.S. election result, the shape of future multinational trade deals remains hazy given the likely demise of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. We are seeing increasing impetus for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a proposed free trade agreement led by China that includes all 10 ASEAN member states as well as India, Japan, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand. Indonesia's trade minister has called for RCEP talks to be concluded in 2017 to better enhance ASEAN's position.

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