Further integration and economic growth in Asean should not focus on liberalisation alone, but also take into account inclusivity and poverty, two issues that need more attention across the region, said Indonesian Finance Minister Mahendra Siregar.
"We have reduced tariffs, opened up the services and capital market, but this is a time where the integration of the Asean Economic Community (AEC) will need to take into account the issue of inclusiveness. It has to address equity challenges within countries and among countries," Mr Siregar told the Bangkok Post.
He said expanding the AEC agenda will make the initiative more sustainable, given that liberalisation usually benefits large businesses and only certain groups.
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