The ASEAN WITHOUT A CUSTOMS UNION OR A SINGLE MARKET CONSEQUENCES OF THE ASEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY BLUEPRINT 2025
In the ASEAN Economic Community blueprint 2015 the term “single market” was used as a goal of economic community. Theoretically, single market is a level of economic integration after customs union. Under that blueprint, customs union could have a chance to be established as a necessary prerequisite for single market. However, the new blueprint 2025 does not adopt single market concept anymore. Different terms have been introduced namely “integrated and cohesive economy” and “unified market”. This article aims at assessing economic integration concept adopted in the ASEAN Economic Community blueprint by utilizing content analysis. It will review the change of concept by employing economic integration theory in order to indicate the direction of economic community goal. The finding is that the change of terms reflects the change of concept. As a result, ASEAN Economic Community will have a different direction in pursuing economic integration. Therefore, under the new blueprint ASEAN will not proceed to customs union and single market. However, it will remain at free trade area level of economic integration. In addition, ASEAN will not be a close trade block but tend to be an open regionalism in relation to non-ASEAN countries or regions.
Keywords: ASEAN Economic Community, Customs Union, Single Market, Economic Integration, Open Regionalism.