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NEAT Working Group Meeting on
"Towards Seamless Connectivity: Transforming Multi-modal Transport System into Economic Corridors"
 
Final Report
Bangkok
August 2015
 
I. Introduction
 
In light of the ASEAN Charter, which became effective in 2008, ASEAN has invested immense effort into building three pillars of the ASEAN community: the ASEAN Political-Security Community (ASPC), the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). Regional connectivity has been identified as an important mechanism that lends support to the establishment of the three pillars, as it can strengthen intra-regional political integration, propel economic growth and increase interactions, and therefore understanding, among ASEAN citizens. To enhance regional connectivity, ASEAN is in the process of implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC), which aims to, inter alia, connect physical infrastructure, standardize border-crossing processes, and promote people-to-people connectivity within the region.
 
 Since ASEAN countries, on the one hand, and China, Japan, and Republic of Korea, on the other, have enjoyed strong trade relations and deepened diplomatic ties, it is clear that benefits of ASEAN connectivity can be more fully realized by embracing China, Japan and Republic of Korea as equal partner countries. A broader and more synergized scope of cooperation on regional connectivity within ASEAN Plus Three has the potential not only to generate a greater volume of economic and non-economic activities but to also move member countries closer towards the long-term goal of achieving an East Asian Community (EAC). As such, the Statement on ASEAN Plus Three Partnership on Connectivity was adopted in the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in Phnom Penh in 2013. The Statement testifies to a commitment of ASEAN Plus Three to enhance connectivity within the region.
 
For the full text of the report, click here.