OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme

 

The OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme was launched during the 2014 Ministerial Council Meeting, in Paris, 6 May 2014.

The programme aims to bring the relationship of the OECD and Southeast Asian countries to a new, more strategic level, support domestic reform processes and contribute to regional integration initiatives. Partnership and enhanced regional integration are key to supporting long-term growth prospects by investing in people, education and vocational training, empowering women, and ensuring that policies are in place making the most of talent of the workforce. Read more

>> Read the press release

>> Focus on Southeast Asia, Remarks by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría

>> Strengthening the OECD's Global Reach

>> Active with Southeast Asia 2014 brochure


The Regional programme hosted its first Regional Forum, March 25-26 in Bali, Indonesia.
The 2014 OECD Southeast Asia Regional Forum brought together high-level officials and experts from Southeast Asia and OECD countries, as well as representatives from international organisations, and civil society and business partners.

Ahead of the Forum, discussions took place at this year's World Economic Forum, at the OECD event Countdown 2015: Towards sustainable and inclusive growth in the ASEAN Economic Community. Read the speech from OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at Davos l Access the presentation    



 ‌A stronger collaboration with Southeast Asia

 

The launch of the Programme will take place as ASEAN economies aim to create the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of 2015. In 2007, ASEAN leaders adopted the AEC Blueprint which lays out specific policy measures and actions to achieve the AEC by 2015. The Blueprint aims to establish a Single Market and Production Base, foster a Competitive Economic Region, and Equitable Economic Development, and further Integration into the Global Economy. The OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme will work to support these goals.

Important areas for policy action identified are linked with the topics of the Programme's six Regional Policy Networks detailed below:

Tax policies

The OECD has co-operated with Southeast Asian countries on tax issues since the launch of the OECD-Korea Tax Centre in 1997. In 2013, all Southeast Asian countries will be involved as hosts or participants in some of all of the 22 technical events in the region organised by the Committee on Fiscal Affairs on international tax issues, tax administration, and tax policy. The Network on tax policies will channel and expand this fruitful co-operation so as to build up a community of best practices.

 

 

Investment policies

OECD work on investment policy in South East Asia is well-established. The OECD and the ASEAN Secretariat are jointly implementing the ASEAN-OECD Investment Programme, which comprises country-level policy reviews and regional dialogues on investment. During recent consultations, Southeast Asian representatives expressed strong interest in further co-operation with the OECD in investment issues and highlighted a few priority areas.

 

 

Education and skills

This Network will co-ordinate and streamline a host of on-going activities through which the OECD aims to help the region build a better qualified workforce. Co-operation in this area has also grown in recent years. Five Southeast Asian countries participated in the OECD's 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). In recent consultations with the ASEAN Secretariat, regional qualification frameworks were mentioned as a key area for potential further collaboration.

 

SME policies

The OECD and the ASEAN Secretariat are working together on a comparative assessment of SME policies in the ten ASEAN member countries, with the objective to support entreprise policy development in the region. In November 2013, results of the first OECD-ASEAN SME Policy Index were presented. The OECD is also collaborating with the Asian Development Bank on enhancing access to finance for SMEs and entrepreneurs. The Network will strengthen this exchange on supporting SMEs development.

 

 

Regulatory reform policies

The Network will help build a community of best practices based on the realisation that strong regulatory practices are instrumental in achieving open and competitive markets. The OECD has been engaged on issues of regulatory reform in South East Asia for over a decade. In 2000, the OECD and APEC signed an Agreement to co-operate in order to improve regulatory practices in the region. The OECD will conduct a Product Market Regulation survey in 2013/2014 in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Thailand. 

 

 

Connectivity and public-private partnerships

The needs for infrastructure investment in Asia are enormous. These needs can only be met if traditional forms of public investment are supplemented with private financing of infrastructure e.g. through public-private partnerships. This Network will support the regional efforts to establish a well-connected ASEAN Community by 2015. The Network's activities could include diagnostic work, tailored advice, comparative data collection, training and other capacity-building activities.