The Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Three (ASEAN+3) system is not functioning as previously expected, with its actual performance not meeting the previous anticipation, a local think tank said Thursday.
"Although there has been some partial progress in the program, its actual results are not up to previous expectations," Park Bun-soon, senior fellow at the Samsung Economics Research Institute (SERI), said in a recent report, citing a decrease in the proportion of regional exports.
"The ASEAN+3 has brought about some achievements, including several free trade pacts among the member countries and a currency-swap program, called the Chiang Mai Initiative, settled to stabilize foreign currency liquidity," Park said.
"However, the economies are still resorting to a traditional growth model, which weighs dependence on developed countries over regional integration," said Park.
In particular, Park pointed out a China-versus-Japan competition over the speed and nature of the economic integration stands as a hurdle as member countries push for assimilating the regional system.
In addition, despite of an increase in the volume of regional exports, it mostly comes from the growth in the Chinese economy, Park said, adding that member countries' outbound shipments to non-China countries have plunged.