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

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