Upcoming DELGOSEA Meeting will Focus on ASEAN Economic Community

Upcoming DELGOSEA Meeting will Focus on ASEAN Economic Community

As the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) becomes reality in 2016, the DELGOSA network is exploring the preparedness of local governments across the region in a workshop in Hanoi from 1 – 2 December 2015.

The brave new world of an economically more integrated ASEAN with freer movement of people, goods and services is just around the corner; at the beginning of 2016, various restrictions will be lifted and the region’s economies will become gradually more intertwined. This poses challenges for local governments who will be the first ones to face the consequences of increased economic competition on the local level as well as the easier migration of people across borders.

But how prepared are local governments across the region for the ASEAN Economic Community, what are the challenges they face and the opportunities they see for their communities? Recent surveys of DELGOSEA members, as well as research from across the region, suggests that there is still a lack of awareness and preparedness on the local level with some organisations and municipalities only just starting to think about the consequences of a more integrated region. A roundtable discussion with DELGOSEA members from four ASEAN countries will seek to explore this question and offer suggestions for local government units (LGUs) across the region. 

The workshop will bring together more than 50 participants from seven ASEAN countries, including researchers, mayors, local government officials, staff of local government associations (LGAs) and civil society organisations (CSOs), all keen to exchange their experiences and get ideas from other countries on how local governments, in cooperation with civil society, can best prepare for the changes ahead.