What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of ASEAN?

Advantages of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations include the elimination of tariffs between member states, which has reduced product prices due to increased competition within the market, and possible investment opportunities in the market. Among the disadvantages of ASEAN are the risk of an influx of cheap imports flooding local markets and the existence of poor governance structures in some member countries.

As a free trade area, member countries expect ASEAN to ease the flow of goods and services in the region by liberalizing services such as air transport within the region. Thailand, a member of ASEAN, anticipates significant benefits from the free trade agreement, as many of its manufactured goods are benefiting from reduced production costs. However, the reduced tariffs have negatively impacted Thailand’s agricultural sector due to a greater number of imported agricultural goods. Cambodia, a developing member of ASEAN, is not yet integrated as it needs more time to address domestic and regional challenges. The ASEAN Economic Community has faced criticism for not protecting small and medium enterprises and for being reluctant to promote human rights and democracy in countries such as Myanmar.