The formal establishment of the AEC on 31 December 2015 marks a key milestone in ASEAN economic integration journey. ASEAN has since embarked on the next phase of its economic integration agenda for the period of 2016-2025, guided by the AEC Blueprint 2025, which was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders at the 27th ASEAN Summit on 22 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The AEC Blueprint 2025 builds on the AEC Blueprint 2015, and consists of five interrelated and mutually reinforcing characteristics, namely: (i) A Highly Integrated and Cohesive Economy; (ii) A Competitive, Innovative, and Dynamic ASEAN; (iii) Enhanced Connectivity and Sectoral Cooperation; (iv) A Resilient, Inclusive, People-Oriented, and People-Centred ASEAN; and (v) A Global ASEAN.
In the next decade, ASEAN will also provide a new emphasis on the development and promotion of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in its economic integration efforts. At the same time, ASEAN will likewise embrace the evolving digital technology as leverage to enhance trade and investments, provide an e-based business platform, promote good governance, and facilitate the use of green technology.