International regulatory and policy consultancy EAS will hold a workshop next month advising businesses on the do’s and don’ts for effective cooperation with governments in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Taking place on Oct. 18 in Singapore, the workshop “Engaging with ASEAN” will be led by EAS Asia Managing Director Pushpanathan Sundram (Nathan), who is also the former Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community.
Nathan brings over 20 years’ experience in trade, finance, development and international cooperation to guide businesses through the most effective routes for engaging with ASEAN, understanding its decision-making procedures and style of engagement.
“Since ASEAN embarked on building its economic community there have been results, for example, tariffs have come down,” said Nathan. “But there is still concern over non-tariff barriers to trade and the need for better trade facilitation measures, which will include areas such as simplification and harmonisation of customs procedures, standards and transport facilitation.”
“ASEAN is pursuing integration of the health care and agro-based product sectors, which cover traditional medicines and health supplements, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and prepared food,” he continued. “There are certainly opportunities for the private sector to be better engaged in building the ASEAN Economic Community.”
The workshop will give an explanation of how ASEAN works, its organisational structure, key agreements and plans, including the ASEAN Charter, community blueprints and other new community agreements. It will also cover the progress towards the implementation of its Economic Community to be established in 2015, and the processes of engagement with ASEAN at the political, policy and technical levels.
“Many businesses engage ASEAN at only one of these levels, thereby minimising their potential for substantive engagement with the national governments and ASEAN processes,” Nathan said. “The aim of this workshop is to guide the private sector through the processes for engaging with ASEAN, focusing on how to build and maintain private sector collaboration with governments towards an optimum environment for doing business in the region.”