Myanmar Hosts 25th ASEAN Summit
On November 12th, the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit held its opening ceremony in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw. The Summit is ASEAN’s highest policy-making body. This gathering is of particular importance since there is now less than one year to go before the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
The AEC seeks to “transform ASEAN into a single market and production base, a highly competitive economic region, a region of equitable economic development, and a region fully integrated into the global economy.” Collectively, ASEAN represents a market of some 600 million people, with a combined GDP of about US$2.5 trillion and upwards of US$1.5 trillion in trade flowing throughout the region.
The Summit is being attended by the heads of state of the 10 ASEAN member countries as well as other key leaders such as US President Barack Obama, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, and Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang.
There are actually multiple meetings occurring during this period: the Summits with Dialogue Partners of ASEAN, the ASEAN Plus Three Summit, and the East Asia Summit.
During the opening ceremonies, Secretary-General of ASEAN, Le Luong Minh, stated that “2014 is the most important turning year deciding the achievement of the ASEAN Community by 2015 and Myanmar has played an important role in accelerating the implementation of the remaining action lines for the ASEAN Community building.” 2014 was the first time for Myanmar to hold the rotating ASEAN Chairmanship position, the country has chosen “Moving forward in Unity to a Peaceful and Prosperous Community” as its theme for its Chairmanship.
Key issues discussed at the summit include:
- The mission of the ASEAN Community beyond 2015
- The adoption of the Naypyidaw Declaration for the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision
- The adoption of a Declaration on Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and Reviewing the ASEAN Organs
- The South China Sea issue
- The adoption of an ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change 2014
While ASEAN has made significant progress since its founding in 1967, the leaders in attendance acknowledged that there was still much work to be done. Myanmar’s President Thein Sein articulated this fact by stating that the regional bloc still “need[s] to enhance institutional efficiency, procedural coherence, effective decision making and systematic monitoring, evaluating, reporting, and follow up capacity.”
Asia Briefing Ltd. is a subsidiary of Dezan Shira & Associates. Dezan Shira is a specialist foreign direct investment practice, providing corporate establishment, business advisory, tax advisory and compliance, accounting, payroll, due diligence and financial review services to multinationals investing in China, Hong Kong, India, Vietnam, Singapore and the rest of ASEAN. For further information, please email email@example.com or visit www.dezshira.com.
Stay up to date with the latest business and investment trends in Asia by subscribing to our complimentary update service featuring news, commentary and regulatory insight.
Tax, Accounting, and Audit in Vietnam 2014-2015
The first edition of Tax, Accounting, and Audit in Vietnam, published in 2014, offers a comprehensive overview of the major taxes foreign investors are likely to encounter when establishing or operating a business in Vietnam, as well as other tax-relevant obligations. This concise, detailed, yet pragmatic guide is ideal for CFOs, compliance officers and heads of accounting who need to be able to navigate the complex tax and accounting landscape in Vietnam in order to effectively manage and strategically plan their Vietnam operations.
An Introduction to Tax Treaties Throughout Asia
In this issue of Asia Briefing Magazine, we take a look at the various types of trade and tax treaties that exist between Asian nations. These include bilateral investment treaties, double tax treaties and free trade agreements – all of which directly affect businesses operating in Asia.
Vietnam: A Guide to HR in Asia’s Next Growth Market
In this issue of Vietnam Briefing, we attempt to clarify human resources (HR) and payroll processes in Vietnam. We first take you through the current trends affecting the HR landscape and then we delve into the process of hiring and paying your employees. We next look at what specific obligations an employer has to their employees. Additionally, we guide you through the often complex system of visas, work permits, and temporary residence cards. Finally, we highlight the benefits of outsourcing your payroll to a “pan-Asia” vendor.