ASEAN to consider two frameworks for economic integration in East Asia
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary General, Surin Pitsuwan, stated it would consider two frameworks for economic integration in East Asia, with one framework one backed by Japan the other by China, next week (Japan Today, 20-Aug-2010). ASEAN added that it would likely merge the two ideas into a single framework, with Mr Pitsuwan commenting: ‘‘Since last year in Bangkok, ASEAN decided to pursue the two approaches in parallel. I am sure the same line will be taken this year." Japan is seeking regional economic integration to involve the 16 countries (10 ASEAN countries plus Japan, China, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand), while China reportedly prefers integration to be confined to the ASEAN members, Japan, China and South Korea. Both papers target 2015 as the deadline for East Asian economic integration, in line with ASEAN’s goal of an ASEAN Economic Community by then.