About Jenny D. BalboaJenny D. Balboa is a project consultant at the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). She is a PhD candidate at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan. Prior to working at ADBI, she worked as a project development officer and supervising research specialist at the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) in Manila, Philippines.
In 2007, the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) bloc adopted the goal of creating an integrated economic region—termed the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)—by December 2015. However, concerns have been expressed that the regional integration project’s 2015 deadline will be missed due to an overly ambitious timeline and too many ill-thought-out initiatives. With the AEC deadline looming, this article critically assesses the progress that has been made, charts some of the main challenges, and suggests the next steps for the AEC.
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