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Economic zones in the ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is emerging as a powerful trading block in the world. 2015 is an important milestone for the ASEAN with the establishment of the ASEAN Community on the 31st of December 2015. The three pillars of the ASEAN Community are: (1) ASEAN Political Security Community (APSC); (2) ASEAN Economic Community (AEC); and (3) ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). Among those three pillars, economic zones play an important role in the AEC, which stated goals, are to foster an “integrated and highly cohesive economy, a competitive, innovative and dynamic ASEAN, a resilient, inclusive, people-oriented, people-centered ASEAN, enhanced sectoral integration and cooperation, and a global ASEAN.” Economic zones, namely Industrial Park (IP), Special Economic Zone (SEZ), EcoIndustrial Park (EIP), Technology Park (TP), and Innovation District (ID), are promoted by national, regional, and local governments to spur economic growth and competitiveness. The stage of development of a specific region will however, determines the most appropriate economic zone and competitive strategy. Indeed, countries or regions that have a low stage of competitive development will adopt a technological catch-up strategy by attracting as much Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) as possible whereas countries or regions that have achieved a higher stage of economic development will focus to attract innovative and knowledge-intensive activities. The countries of the ASEAN have achieved different level of competitive development. The members have thus adopted different economic zones’ strategies to strengthen their competitiveness. Viet Nam has widely relied on industrial parks to attract FDIs. Singapore has designed one-north Singapore, the first innovation district in the ASEAN. It is estimated in this paper that there are more than 1,000 economic zones in the ASEAN (893 industrial parks, 84 special economic zones, 2 eco-industrial parks, 25 technology parks, and 1 innovation district). The study paper gives three recommendations to policymakers and public organizations: (1) to retrofit existing industrial parks and special economic zones into eco-industrial parks and eco-special economic zones; (2) to move-up the value chain by creating innovation districts in large cities; and (3) to create a not-for-profit organization within the ASEAN - the ASEAN’s Economic Zones Authority (AEZA) - to monitor economic zones in the ASEAN. UNIDO Country Office in Viet Nam 11 2. Competitiveness and Economic Z

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Additional Info

Field Value
Document type Profiles - Geographical areas and sites
Language of document
  • English
Topics Special economic zones
Geographic area (spatial range)
  • Cambodia
  • Indonesia
  • Lao People's Democratic Republic
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • Viet Nam
Copyright Yes
Access and use constraints

No known access and use constraints

Version / Edition 1.0
License unspecified
Publication date 2015
Keywords sez,asean
Date uploaded August 7, 2019, 09:31 (UTC)
Date modified August 16, 2019, 03:20 (UTC)