The external economic environment looks favourable, but domestic policy risks abound.
South-east Asian countries are seeking to deepen their economic integration regionally and internationally. The sectors in need of large-scale investment include transport, energy and infrastructure. Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam have signed up to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. Several ASEAN states face international criticism over their commitment to democracy and human rights. Countries across the region also have concerns over terrorism. Many look to Beijing for political and economic support, but China’s growing assertiveness in the maritime domain is causing tension.
• What kind of boost can the region’s economies expect from tariff reductions envisaged under the revised Trans-Pacific Partnership?
• Could Islamic State resettle in South-east Asia?
• How much do South-east Asian states have to fear from disputes in the South China Sea?
Senior Teaching Fellow, Southeast Asian PoliticsSOAS
Senior Lecturer in Comparative PoliticsUniversity of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
Professor EmeritaGeorgetown University