Established in 1967, the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) is still considered to be an important player in the global economy. Its favorable conditions including its sizable population, abundant natural resources, and strategic location have provided comparative advantages in international trade and global investment. To further their regional integration, ASEAN members aim to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), a regional integration framework and platform which will be put into force in 2015.
How ready is Indonesia to enter the AEC?
Standards for agricultural products have been a prominent issue since early 1990s in the World Trade Organization (WTO) committee’s meetings. It is often perceived that the issue was mainly a concern of several big producers and various other stakeholders in developed countries.
A significant change in consumer preference and continuing global health issues are said to be some of the driving factors to implement these standards. Yet, the implementation of standards seems to be arguably debatable in the context of the WTO agreement since the design of these standards is argued to be non-transparent, region-based, and unfairly inclusive, especially towards small economies.