Wednesday, February 1, 2012

AEC Developments Recap

Last night I spoke at the National University of Singapore Students’ Political Association 2012 forum on the ASEAN Economic Community, along with former ASEAN Secretary General Rodolfo Severino and Sulaimah Mahmood from the Singapore Ministry of Trade and Industry.  Over 250 university and junior college (high school) students attended, which is quite good and reflects on the excellent organization skills of the association!

My presentation riffed on my comparison of ASEAN to the English Premier League.  I did add that not all sports leagues have weak central offices; notably, the American professional leagues have strong central offices that can impose penalties on both players and teams,  and the players and teams have access to binding arbitration and judicial systems.  However, the American leagues also have had 3 strikes over the past 7 years whereas the EPL rarely has labor problems and is also financially successful.  The point is that even without strong central leadership, entities such as ASEAN or the EPL can succeed, but that decisionmaking can be slow.  The key is in providing good conditions for competition, which will attract both “players” and “fans” (e.g., investors and customers).

Here are some more updates on AEC developments: