Training Materials


The Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI), launched in 2000, helps ASEAN’s newer Member States implement ASEAN commitments and agreements. Through special assistance to Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV countries), it aims to further regional integration in order to narrow the development gap within ASEAN. IAI has so far seen the adoption of two work plans. Work Plan I, from 2002 to 2008, comprised 232 projects in four areas. Work Plan II began in 2009, and includes 182 actions aligned with the three ASEAN Community Blueprints 2015. However, while over 280 projects worth over US$40 million have been undertaken, the implementation rate for actions is less than 45%. One key challenge for Work Plan III therefore is to undertake a more strategic and focused effort in the development and implementation of the actions. IAI Work Plan III has been developed in close collaboration with CLMV countries, other ASEAN Member States and stakeholders, and is aligned with the ASEAN Community Vision 2025 and the various sectoral work plans. To improve focus and lift implementation, five strategic areas have since been identified

A New StrAtegic FrAmework For iAi work PlAN iii In Work Plan III, the vision for IAI remains consistent: to assist CLMV countries to meet ASEAN-wide targets and commitments towards realising the goals of  the ASEAN Community. In order to achieve this vision, the five strategic areas which have been identified are:

■ Food and Agriculture. The populations of CLMV countries are primarily rural and dependent on agriculture, and rural poverty remains endemic. Given the low agricultural productivity, there are great opportunities to improve yields and competitiveness – though these improvements need to be sustainable. ASEAN is also working to increase trade in agriculture through harmonisation of standards and to improve food security in the region. Support to CLMV countries will help promote these objectives.

■ Trade Facilitation. Simplification and harmonisation of trade procedures can significantly reduce trade costs, especially in CLMV countries where border and documentary compliance is often onerous. ASEAN Economic Community is strongly focussed on improving trade facilitation through various mechanisms, e.g. ASEAN Trade Repository and ASEAN Single Window, and CLMV countries need assistance to fully participate. Increasing the capacity of CLMV countries to understand WTO rules and processes and implement WTO agreements will also support regional integration.

■ Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs play a critical role in the economies of all CLMV countries. However, the policy environment supporting MSMEs is still relatively weak, with opportunities for improvement in access to finance and new markets, business regulation and entrepreneurial education. Promotion of MSMEs is a strong ASEAN priority, with a range of regional initiatives in progress. CLMV countries will need additional support to implement these measures.

■ Education. Developing human capital is a major challenge for CLMV countries, with skills gaps widening as economies evolve. While access to basic education has increased, there remain large numbers of out-of-school children and quality is largely unaddressed. In technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and higher education, ASEAN is promoting mutual recognition of qualifications standards. Support for English language instruction will also facilitate greater integration of CLMV countries in ASEAN.

■ Health and Well-Being. While indicators of health in CLMV countries have improved significantly since 2000, there remain large gaps vis-à-vis other Member States. ASEAN is increasingly pursuing regional standards in areas such as maternal and child health, and food safety. CLMV countries will need special support to implement these standards. Health also has important regional dimensions – in areas such as emerging infectious and communicable diseases, for example, the success of integrated surveillance systems depends on building strong national capacities in all Member States.

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ASEAN Secretariat - Jakarta