ASEAN Economic Community to be set up by the end of 2015

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Asean Economic Community to be set up by the end of 2015Southeast Asia community (known as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN) is working to create a common market through the removal of tariffs and trade barriers and allow free movement of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled labour as part of a European Union-style integration plan, however without the common currency. The ASEAN Economic Community will be set up by end of 2015. ‘Singapore is poised to benefit as companies expanding in the region set up headquarters and research facilities here even as they build factories elsewhere’, Economic Development Board Chairman Leo Yip said in a Bloomberg Television interview. ‘Singapore aims to be the New York of ASEAN,’ said Joey Chew, an economist at Barclays Plc in the city-state. ‘If the rest of ASEAN does well, naturally there’s a complementary effect for Singapore.’ Asia had seven of the top 10 exporters of textiles and clothing and office and telecommunications equipment in 2011. That year it shipped $5.98 trillion of goods, an 18 percent increase from the year before, according to the World Trade Organization. ‘Companies around the world already see the market potential of ASEAN,’ Leo Yip said. ‘Many of them are looking at the production potential of ASEAN.’ The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is forecast to grow 5.2 percent this year and 5.6 percent in 2014, according to the Asian Development Bank.