STRENGTHENING REGIONAL ECONOMIC INTEGRATION THROUGH ASEAN POLICY IMPLEMENTATION
As one of the fastest growing regional economies in the world, with a GDP of more than $3 trillion1, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plays a vital role in setting shared goals and standards for its 10 member states2 to stimulate national economic reform and guide regional economic integration. In alignment with the ASEAN-U.S. Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) helps close the loop on endorsed ASEAN policy initiatives to strengthen cohesive national level adoption efforts on shared policy priorities. USAID’s ASEAN Policy Implementation (API) project identifies needs and opportunities to advance policies endorsed by ASEAN and provides technical assistance to member states to strengthen their implementation. By targeting areas of accountability where countries have made commitments to ASEAN policy initiatives API builds momentum with government counterparts and provide roadmaps for member states to implement these initiatives. USAID API works in coordination with USAID’s two flagship regional programs: Inclusive Growth in ASEAN Through Innovation, Trade and E-Commerce (IGNITE) and Partnership for Regional Optimization Within the Political-Security and Socio-Cultural Communities (PROSPECT) projects.
MAXIMIZING TRADE FACILITATION
USAID API helps ASEAN member states’ maximize their National Single Window (NSW) operations in exchanging electronic trade-related documents and data via the ASEAN Single Window (ASW). These streamlined customs processes enhance trade efficiency, competitiveness, and increase transparency that have saved traders an estimated $4.42 billion since the ASW’s inception.
EXPANDING DIGITAL DATA GOVERNANCE
In 2019, ASEAN established the ASEAN Digital Data Governance Framework to govern the region’s implementation of digital data best practices, taking into account the varying levels of readiness of each member state. In supporting the implementation of the framework, USAID API helps member states strengthen their national digital data governance through in-depth analysis and capacity building that aligns with this regional ASEAN framework.
INVESTIGATING REGIONAL TRENDS
In an effort to assist ASEAN with guiding member states on over 3,500 potential activities to advance the ASEAN Community Blueprint 2025, API investigates regional trends to highlight priority economic development activities. This research summarizes emerging needs and interests to better hone the national-level development and advancement of newer ASEAN standards while creating greater shared priorities and knowledge across the ASEAN region.
● Developed and launched the ASEAN Customs Declaration Document (ACDD) Management Portal in collaboration with the Philippines Bureau of Customs Linking the Philippines electronically to the ASEAN Single Window trade facilitation platform broadens economic integration, fulfills the Philippines’ commitment to meet ASEAN’s priority of digitalizing trade processes, and enhance full visibility and cross-border cooperation with ASEAN.
● Partnered with the Philippines Bureau of Customs to develop the NSW Technical Reference Guidelines aimed at enhancing the Philippines’ creation of a National Master Data Plan for Information Sharing and Interoperability. The primary goal is to strengthen risk management activities by leveraging established information protection rules as well as building confidence in interagency information exchange. USAID assistance will result in enhanced cross-border cooperation to reduce risks of fraud and abuse through improved trade visibility in the region.
● Electronic Certificate of Origin (e-CO) backup system. This system aims to help the Philippines to establish a comprehensive e-CO Portal. The e-CO backup system intends to provide seamless transmission of inbound and outbound e-CO messages with other member states.
● Assisted in designing the Electronic Phytosanitary Management (e-Phyto) Portal to improve ease of trade in the Philippines with member states and future trading partners. This portal and accompanying Business Process Analysis will help guide and expedite cross-border trade exchange of plants and plant-based products (ePhyto).
● Executed a comprehensive regulatory analysis of Indonesia’s readiness to adopt the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA). This study will support Indonesia’s preparations for DEFA negotiations with all ASEAN member states.
● Conducted quarterly Regional Trends Analyses (RTA) to summarize ongoing trends for implementation of policies endorsed by ASEAN at the member state level. These RTA reports helped inform where USAID API project assistance could best support member
Panadda Dasananda, Chief of Party, USAID API project, PDASANANDA@IBI-WORLDWIDE.COM
Kathy Tin, Deputy Office Director, USAID/RDMA ASEAN, firstname.lastname@example.org
USAID-ASEAN Fact Sheet – API [PDF 736 KB]