SINGAPORE – Maritime leaders on Friday said good progress is being made in the creation of a single Asean shipping market – a key pillar in the establishment of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) – but said there is still more to do to realise this goal, Bernama reported.
The announcement follows the closing of the 25th Asean Summit in Myanmar on Thursday where leaders from across Asean discussed progress and steps the region needs to take to accomplish the remaining objectives in the AEC Blueprint ahead of the 2015 deadline.
“The AEC will open up significant opportunities for the region’s maritime industry,” said Pacific International Lines managing director S S Teo.
“Asean is the new growth frontier and has an expected GDP growth rate of around five per cent for the next five years. The AEC will remove trade barriers and encourage further regional growth.
“This will lead to greater intra-and-extra regional cargo movements which create opportunities for the broader maritime industry. We need to work together to take the final steps in realising the goal of a single Asean market,” Teo said commenting on the announcement.
The maritime industry across the region is currently undertaking a number of activities to ensure it is ready to capture the benefits the AEC will present.
At the same time, countries like Malaysia and Brunei are holding discussions on increased maritime cooperation.
“Activities and discussions such as these will ensure the region’s facilities, processes and services will be ready to take advantage of the immense opportunities that the AEC will offer,” said Teo.