09:34 | 15/10/2016 Cooperation
(VEN) - ASEAN leaders adopted the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025 (MPAC 2025) in Vientiane, Laos on September 6 in the framework of the 28th ASEAN Summit.
ASEAN leaders unveil the logo of the Visit ASEAN@50 tourism campaign
MPAC 2025, which succeeds the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2010, focuses on five strategic areas: sustainable infrastructure, digital innovation, seamless logistics, regulatory excellence, and people mobility. The MPAC 2025 was developed in consultation with relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies and other stakeholders. The remaining initiatives from MPAC 2010 were evaluated and incorporated in MPAC 2025.
Sustainable infrastructure: Given that ASEAN needs at least US$110 billion of infrastructure investment each year to support future growth, MPAC 2025 aims to help investors seize opportunities in sustainable infrastructure by improving project preparations, enhancing infrastructure productivity and supporting cities in adopting sustainable practices.
Digital innovation: Digital technologies in ASEAN could potentially be worth up to US$625 billion by 2030, which may be derived from increased efficiency, new products and services. Capturing digital innovation requires the establishment of regulatory frameworks for the delivery of new digital services; support for the sharing of best practices on open data; and equipping micro, small and medium enterprises with the capabilities to access these new technologies.
Seamless logistics: Improving logistics competitiveness will ease the movement of goods within the ASEAN community, increasing business opportunities for ASEAN citizens. MPAC 2025 aims to support this by identifying and addressing key bottlenecks on important trade routes in ASEAN.
Regulatory excellence: ASEAN member states have reduced tariffs significantly, benefiting consumers in the region. MPAC 2025 focuses on standards harmonization, mutual recognition and technical regulations, as well as trade-distorting non-tariff measures in order to achieve regulatory excellence.
People mobility: The number of tourists from outside ASEAN could reach 150 million by 2025. MPAC 2025 will focus on providing comprehensive information on travel options and simplifying visa application processes. It will also develop high-quality qualification frameworks in critical vocational occupations, which ASEAN member states could implement according to their national circumstances, and encourage greater mobility of intra-ASEAN university students.
According to the Lao Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chair of ASEAN Coordinating Council, MPAC 2025 is an ambitious but practical plan. ASEAN has designed strong implementation mechanisms to ensure that effective coordination takes place among various agencies and brings positive changes over the next 10 years. ASEAN expects that with a young population, a strategic location and a range of technologies it can leverage, if implemented effectively, MPAC 2025 will bring more economic and educational opportunities for the peoples of ASEAN and create combined strength for the whole region.