ASEAN must expedite trade reforms to attract investors, businesses

ASEAN members should speed up the process of reforming its trade and investment environment amidst the US-China trade uncertainties to attract more investors and businesses to the region.

Professor Mari Elka Pangestu, Board of Trustees Member of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies Foundation, said domestic reform was necessary, while at the same time, ASEAN countries should continue to engage and manage their trade relations with these two major economies.

“Domestic reform also means that ASEAN countries (must) open up their markets to each other, continuing to strengthen the ASEAN partnership.

“It would give assurance to investors in terms of certainties, especially in the current situation whereby investors and businesses are confused (by the trade war) ,” she told reporters at the ASEAN Roundtable Series on ‘ASEAN 2040: The Imperative of Collective Leadership, Integration and Centrality in Uncertain Times’ held in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

ASEAN countries should not be squeezed, and get trampled between the two big elephants (US-China) nor take any sides in this matter, she said. – BERNAMA


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