Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi underlined the critical importance of the MTR (Report) in progressing the work of AEC towards 2025 and beyond.
He emphasised the value of the lessons learned and the recommendations put forward by the Report in informing future actions of ASEAN to economic integration and in responding to the challenges of an increasingly complex environment that we now live in.
The MTR, which assesses progress in implementation of the 23 sectoral work plans, finds that out of more than 1,700 action lines, 54.1% have been completed and 34.2% are on-going.
After growing on average by more than 5% annually in the past five years leading to 2019, ASEAN is now the 5th largest economy in the world.
In 2020, following the impact of covid-19, its GDP stood at US$3.0 trillion.
ASEAN has also become more business facilitative, financially inclusive, digitally connected, and attractive to investors.
"It helps us focus our agenda, formulate our collective action and responses, leverage on our synergies, and derive creative and pragmatic approaches," said Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for AEC Satvinder Singh in a press release on Thursday.
The MTR of the AEC Blueprint 2025 was supported by the ASEAN Regional Integration Support by the EU (ARISE) Plus.
The launch event was also graced by Igor Driesmans, Ambassador of the European Union to ASEAN, who noted the long-standing friendship between the two regions.
He also expressed EU’s willingness to share their learning and experiences to ASEAN and support the region in the next phase of the AEC Blueprint implementation.