THE Federation of Asean Shippers Council (FASC) is pushing for the immediate integration of economies of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asean Nations (Asean) to facilitate trade and corner more foreign direct investments (FDIs).
Philippine Shippers’ Bureau director Atty. Pedro Vicente Mendoza, who is also FASC vice chair, told PortCalls the association is keen on seeing an integration of Asean economies which will allow market forces to dictate the movement of trade as what’s happening in Europe.
He said that with the exception of the liner group, all other FASC members have agreed to set a target in line with that set by Asean leaders to integrate their economies. Asean leaders eye full economic integration in 2015.
FASC will discuss developments on integration at the Global Shippers Forum this year. The integration of the Asean economies is needed to compete with other Asian powerhouses like China and India and to attract more FDIs, experts stressed at the preliminaries of the postponed Asean Business Summit last month.
Individually, Asean countries may be too small to be noticed by investors in North America and Europe, but their combined population of 500 million may be attractive enough to divert attention from China, especially for businesses in the consumer sector, Graeme Maxton, regional director, corporate network-Hong Kong of the Economist Intelligence Unit said.