Speaking Of Asia: Trust in RCEP but don't forget to tie up AEC

Even as it pushes for a bigger regional trade agreement, Asean can do more to ditch barriers that hold back the potential of its 10-member single market

BANGKOK • It has fallen into something of a pattern that the community relations division of the Asean secretariat holds a forum every year ahead of Asean's mid-year summit that brings select journalists to interact with key officials from the region - typically from that year's host country.

This year, editors who gathered in Thailand, host of the 2019 summits, gained significantly from the presence at the forum of Asean Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, who has been rather taciturn with media since he took charge at the 10-nation organisation early last year.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 02, 2019, with the headline 'Trust in RCEP but don't forget to tie up AEC'. Subscribe