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Macroeconomic assessments and economic outlook for Emerging Asia

The 50th anniversary of ASEAN in 2017 is an opportunity for the region to take stock of the achievements made in regional integration and co-operation, as well as a chance to look ahead and consider what needs to be done to achieve the vision of a unified and seamless ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in the future. Since its establishment in 1967, ASEAN has worked towards regional integration in a number of policy areas, including tourism, infrastructure and consumer protection in working to foster inclusive and sustainable growth across the region. In the past year, regional integration has progressed most significantly in trade in goods and trade in services. ASEAN is working rapidly to further reduce tariffs to meet the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) by 2018. Tariff rates have decreased further for ASEAN-6 and CLMV countries in multiple product groups. However, the 18 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA, CHINA AND INDIA 2018: FOSTERING GROWTH THROUGH DIGITALISATION © OECD 2018 ECONOMIC OUTLOOK FOR SOUTHEAST ASIA, CHINA AND INDIA 2018: FOSTERING GROWTH THROUGH DIGITALISATION © OECD 2018 19 speed of implementing the ATIGA schedule varies by country. In addition, the ASEAN Single Window initiative is well under way, with most member countries participating. When fully implemented, the platform will support seamless trade among members and may attract increased trade flows from partners outside the region. In services, the ASEAN logistics subsector is being incrementally liberalised. This effort remains as one of the region’s more ambitious goals, as the sector is among the most highly protected in ASEAN member countries. For the services sector, the ASEAN Economic Ministers had set a 2015 deadline for liberalisation, but progress has been slow for many ASEAN countries. The effectiveness of mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) depends on the movement of skilled labour, where there remains room for growth