A. Background

The discourse on ASEAN Community, especially ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), continues to the fore among the public, media, business, cultural, and also the government. Concerns and many audience questions about AEC is a natural thing. Precisely the concerns can be a reflection of the concern of all society elements.[1] AEC in 2015 came into force as of December 31, 2015 was a form of regional economic integration. Assuming of free competition would drive any ASEAN country perform optimal efficiency and would ultimately improve the welfare of the community. If the mechanisms in regional economic integration run good in each State, then all involved would benefit, although these gains would not be evenly distributed.

The increasingly intense competition, rapid environmental change, and rapid technology advances encourage businesses to always make changes oriented to the fulfillment and satisfaction of the needs and customers’ desires better in order to attract and keep customers and outperform competitors. Moreover, with the convening of ASEAN Economy Community (AEC) in 2015, free trade between countries of ASEAN (Association of South East Asia Nations). Competition in the domestic market will be more intense, in which marketers will not only compete with marketers inside the country, but also marketers from abroad.

ASEAN Economic Community as a form of regional economic integration is the main agenda of the ASEAN countries, ASEAN’s vision to build the integrated Southeast Asian region in equitable economic development and reducing socio-economic disparities in case needs to be appreciated as a major step to advance the common ASEAN countries.

It had previously been expressed in 1998 in Hanoi that expressed ASEAN intention to create the prosperous region and highly competitive where there were flows of goods, services, and integrated capital in ASEAN. This discourse was followed in 2003 in the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, with the establishment of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which aimed to create a single market and production base, turning the diversity that being characterizes of the region into opportunities for business complementation so it is expected ASEAN segments to be more dynamic and had a strong economic role on a global scale.

ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) was formed with the aim to achieve perfection of economic integration in the ASEAN region believed could provide real benefits to all elements of society. Since formulated, three of the four pillars of AEC clearly required competitiveness as the key to success. AEC as an area of a single market and production base, a competitive region, and integrate with the global economy could be realized if each of its members and as regional had competitiveness. The essence of AEC was designed to enhance the competitiveness of ASEAN in responding to increasingly intense global competition.

Southeast Asia can accept the challenge of productivity and finding new catalysts for the growth of the economy by trying hard to seize opportunities in the current global large stocks. The global economy has been in touch in very such large quantities in goods, services, State, people and data that moves across the border. Southeast Asia can play a major role in this phenomenon by accelerating the implementation of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) with the plan of integration to create a single market for 600 million consumers. AEC era also potentially create greater business risk. The strength of the fundamental conditions of each company will be coloring power of currencies of each country, including when the single currency later applied. This is where the role of risk management following an internal audit mechanism is absolutely necessary. Although conceptually ‘duo’ synergy function is believed to be effective in directing every strategic decision to give a positive impact to stakeholders, but it is not the case with the findings in the field.[2]

ASEAN wishes to form ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) driven by external developments and internal regions. On the external side, Asia is predicted to become the new economic power that is driven by economic activity of India, China and other ASEAN countries. While internally, ASEAN economic power until 2013 is to produce GDP of US$ 3.3 trillion with a growth rate of 5 percent and has the support of the population of 17.8 million people.

Since the establishment of ASEAN as a regional organization in 1967, the member states have laid the economic cooperation as one of the main agenda to be developed. At the beginning of economic cooperation is focused on programs providing preferential trade, joint ventures, and complementation scheme between the governments of the member states and private parties in the ASEAN region, such as ASEAN Industrial Projects Plan (1976), Preferential Trading Arrangement (1977), ASEAN Industrial Complementation Scheme (1981), ASEAN Industrial Joint-Ventures Scheme (1983), and Enhanced Preferential Trading Arrangement (1987). ASEAN Economic Community is a very broad community of ASEAN countries, there are no restrictions in the economy region where a State can be a free entry in the market competition. ASEAN Economic Community that is free of obstacles, prioritizing increased connectivity, utilization of various cooperation schemes either intra-ASEAN and between ASEAN and partner countries in particular FTA partners, as well as strengthening the role of SMEs in the process of internal integration of ASEAN as well as with partner countries.

Indonesia as the ASEAN member countries is one country that sparked the formation of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Many things are the basis for Indonesia in realizing AEC. There are several major factors for the economy sustainability in each country because in the AEC. Therefore, Indonesia would be able to prepare them to meet it. The important thing for Indonesia is how the predictions that will face Indonesia as a member of AEC towards the implementation of AEC.

As a form of regional activities competition in the ASEAN region, as of December 2015, it started inaugurated ASEAN Economy Community (AEC). AEC in its implementation is almost the same as Free Trade Area (AFTA), which will be realized in the year 2020, but their range covers only the ASEAN region.[3] The urgent need for bilateral cooperation and the strengthening of the ASEAN countries against foreign products, AEC filed more quickly in 2015. The purpose of AEC formation is to maintain political stability and the ASEAN regional security, including in terms of increasing the overall regional competitiveness on the world market, and promote steady economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the living standard of ASEAN society. AEC is manifested as the integration of a more robust and meaningful involves the role of each country in regional and multilateral cooperation by having its own interests.

ASEAN Economy Community (AEC) is established as an economic region with a high level of competition, which requires a policy that includes competition policy, consumer protection, Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), taxation, and E-Commerce. Thus, it can create a climate of fair competition; there is protection in the form of a network system of consumer protection agencies; prevent copyright infringement; creating an efficient transport network, secure, and integrated; eliminating the Double Taxation system, and; increase trade with online-based electronic media.

Indonesia is one of the 10 founding member countries of ASEAN Economy Community (AEC) that has been preparing to face global changes both in terms of economy, trade, politics and labor. The underlying belief is that AEC can provide benefits to create a unified region market and production base conceptually. With the creation of the market unity and production base will make the flow of goods, services, investments, large amounts of capital, and skilled labor becomes no barrier from one country to another country in Southeast Asia.

Only during the last two years of the three forming countries of ASEAN Economy Community (AEC) actually experienced a decline in the economy.[4] In particular, Indonesia’s economic growth in the third quarter only 5.01 percent is down significantly from the second quarter, which reached 5.12 percent. While other countries, Malaysia has also weakened to 5.60 percent in the third quarter while earlier reached 6.40 percent. The third country is the Philippines slowed down significantly to 5.30 percent in the third quarter after 6.40 percent in the second quarter.

The external challenges faced include the level of trade competition is increasingly intense, the growing deficit of Indonesia’s trade balance with the other ASEAN countries, and how Indonesia can enhance its investment attractiveness. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s internal challenges include the lack of public understanding of AEC, unpreparedness regions face AEC, the level of regional development are varied and human resources conditions and labor in Indonesia.[5] The challenges faced by Indonesia both externally and internally should be an important discourse for all people.

Besides, ASEAN Economy Community (AEC) is in fact creates competition between member states would make Indonesia seems to protect themselves. In fact, the competition is actually good for improving the quality of labor and an increase in self-economy.[6] It means if Indonesia is not ready with the competition wave of AEC, Indonesia will only be consumers of higher economic activity anymore.


[1] Membidik Peluang MEA. ASEAN adalah kita. http://www.kemlu.go.id/Magazines/ASEAN-7-2015.pdf

[2] Menakar Potensi Masalah Keagenan di Era MEA (https://manajemenppm.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/menakar-potensi-masalah-keagenan-di-era-mea/)

[3]  Azwar. (2015).  Industri Perbankan Syariah Menghadapi Masyarakat Ekonomi Asean (MEA ) 2015 : Peluang dan Tantangan Kontemporer.  Diakses 12 Oktober 2015 dari http://www.bppk.kemenkeu.go.id/publikasi/artikel/150-artikel-keuangan-umum/20434-industri-perbankan-syariah-menghadapi-masyarakat-ekonomi-asean-mea-2015-peluang-dan-tantangan-kontemporer.

[4] Kompas. (2014). Akademisi: Penerapan Masyarakat Ekonomi ASEAN Tahap ‘Lampu Kuning’. Diakses dari: http://www.republika.co.id/berita/ekonomi/bisnis-global/14/12/20/ngvi0g-akademisi-penerapan-masyarakat-ekonomi-asean-tahap-lampu-kuning, pada 23 Desember 2015.

[5] Riset Kajian PKRB. (2014). Analisa Daya Saing dan Produktivitas Indonesia Menghadapi MEA. Diakses dari: http://kemenkeu.go.id/sites/default/files/Kajian%20Daya%20Saing%20dan %20Produktivitas %20Indonesia%20Menghadapi%20MEA.pdf, pada 23 Desember 2015

[6] http://www.beritaempat.com/hadapi-mea-adb-sarankan-indonesia-tak-memproteksi-diri/

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