24, 2000, ASEAN leaders signed the e-ASEAN
Framework Agreement to set in motion the regional grouping's effort to bridge the digital divide with the rest of the world, with each other, and within their respective societies.
Based on the roadmap, there are 12 priority sectors identified under the integration plan: agro-based products, air travel, automotive, e-Asean
, electronics, fisheries, healthcare, rubber-based products, textiles and apparel, tourism, wood-based products and logistics, as well as the food, agriculture and forestry sectors.
The areas of cooperation of the AEC include "human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN
; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC."
ASEAN has listed priority sectors to be integrated -- agro-based products, air travel, automotives, e-ASEAN
, electronics, healthcare, logistics, tourism, textiles, logistics, rubber-based products, wood-based products.
The ASEAN countries did agree to strengthen the existing AFTA, ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) and ASEAN Investment Area (AIA), and to seek to remove barriers to the movement of skilled labour and business people, recognize skills and qualifications in other member-states, coordinate macroeconomic policies, and encourage the integration of electronic transactions ("e-ASEAN
") and region-wide industrial sourcing.
These include expanding the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), the ASEAN Investment Area (AIA), the e-ASEAN
initiative, as well as the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI).
To implement the ''E-ASEAN
Framework Agreement'' signed by ASEAN leaders during their summit last November in Singapore, the ministers set up five working groups -- on building capacity, on developing information infrastructure, on narrowing the digital divide and ensuring universal access, on facilitating trade and investment, and on ''positive use of the Internet.''
With an eye toward building a strong and competitive information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure for e-commerce and reducing the digital divide between rich and poor members, the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) has signed an e-ASEAN
Agreement to plug its ten member-countries into the global economy.
The prime minister also said Tokyo will "cooperate actively" with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in its e-ASEAN
Initiative with measures such as assisting in drawing up rules for e-commerce.
There are 12 "priority" sectors identified in the road map: agro-based products, air travel, automotive, "e-Asean
," electronics, fisheries, healthcare, rubber-based products, textiles and apparel, tourism, wood-based products and logistics, as well as the food, agriculture and forestry sectors.
Other priority services industries for harmonization under the AFAS include air transport, e-ASEAN
, healthcare, and tourism.