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The role of ASEAN in global trade

What are the dynamics shaping Southeast Asian trade policies?

This podcast episode was recorded on 24 May 2023.


Lili Yan Ing, Lead Advisor (Southeast Asia Region), ERIA - the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia

Cyn-Young Park, Director, Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank


Rem Korteweg, Senior Research Fellow, Clingendael Institute

The 2023 edition of the AIG Global Trade Series explores the extent and impact of regionalisation on the global trade landscape.

Growing at a rapid pace, the 10 economies of Southeast Asia now collectively form the fifth largest economy globally - behind the US, China, Germany, and Japan. While intraregional trade is increasing - thanks to the new RCEP regional trade agreement that includes China, extra regional trade beyond Southeast Asia is booming.

On RSEP, ASEAN took the lead in making this trade agreement happen, which entered into force on 1st January 2022 and currently covers over 30% of global trade. The most important trading partners of ASEAN are the United States, the European Union, and China - the largest trading partner by far.

However, these three trading blocks aim to increase resilience, diversify supplies and reduce their strategic dependencies, which may translate to decreasing their trade exposure to one another. Is ASEAN being caught in the middle? What is shaping ASEAN 's role in global trade, and how will outside dynamics impact it? As supply chain resilience becomes a major discussion point in Southeast Asia, how is ASEAN itself influenced by the supply shocks in the international trading system?


The Global Trade Series is a collaboration between AIG and the following international organisations with leading expertise on global trade: the Aspen Institute GermanyCEBRI - the Brazilian Center for International RelationsChatham House (UK); the Clingendael Institute (The Netherlands); the Institute of International Economic Law at Georgetown University Law Center (US); ISPI - the Italian Institute for International Political Studies; the Jacques Delors Institute (France); RIETI - the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (Japan); and the St. Gallen Endowment for Prosperity through Trade (Switzerland).

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