Source: congannhandan.vn
Hanoi (VNA) - The ASEAN Community, which is set to be formed at the year’s end, is considered the highest model of regional cooperation for the 10 member countries and a breakthrough in promoting intra-bloc relations. However, the community is facing challenges and difficulties in the building process, as much work still needs to be done.

The Community is based on three key pillars: the Economic Community (AEC), Political-Security Community (APSC) and Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

According to a recent ASEAN report, 92 percent of the building of the AEC has been finished. The ASCC has completed 82 percent of its tasks.

However, only 12 percent of works on the formation of the APSC have concluded, posing a considerable challenge to the building of a community of political coherence, economic connection and social responsibility sharing.

ASEAN has played an important role in a changing world by promoting regional stability, preventing disputes among member countries and improving economic partnerships. But the bloc has yet to thoroughly deal with regional political and security problems due to a lack of a practical, specific agenda.

Meanwhile, differences in history and culture also create many challenges to the integration process. Integrated interests may also become obstacles once fierce competition erupts.

AEC is considered the most important pillar in the ASEAN Community. As the association is a potential market, the establishment of the AEC will make the region the third largest market in the world – home to 8 percent of the global population.

The formation of the AEC is expected to generate chances for ASEAN member countries to expand their economic scale, narrow development gaps, increase their attractiveness to investors and tourists, and reduce trade fees. It will also strengthen member countries’ access to each other’s markets, while enhancing transparency and supporting the improvement of internal regulations.

Close economic ties among ASEAN countries are also hoped to create an impetus to overcome political-security disputes, while easing tension related to history or socio-economic difficulties.

Meanwhile, cultural cooperation will help promote mutual understanding in politics, thus generating new partnership channels and laying the foundation for the settlement of sensitive matters related to politics, security and defence.-VNA