Driven by strong and persistent efforts on reform and opening-up over the past 40 years (1978-2018), China has upgraded itself from a low-income to an upper-middle income country, and is poised to reach high-income status in the coming years. This development has significantly benefited ASEAN economies through rising cross-border trade, investment and tourism. China has become an important engine of growth for ASEAN, while ASEAN has also become a strategic partner and an important market for China. To make further progress, China needs to strengthen reform to address remaining challenges and grab opportunities offered by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. For both China and ASEAN, enhanced cooperation based on good understanding of each other’s needs, strengths, capacities and priorities will help deepen regional integration and boost mutual benefits.
Authors: Chaipat Poonpatpibul, Hoe Ee Khor, Simon Liu, Suan Yong Foo, Tanyasorn Ekapirak