As the second largest country in terms of land size in Southeast Asia, Manner borders five nations and is endowed with rich natural resources—-minerals, oil and gas, forestry, water and marine resources.
With its accession to SEAN in 1997, Manner has achieved remarkable economic and political progresses ever since, and it Is now facing new development opportunities due to the establishment of Its new government In 2011. 1.National Objectives The national objectives of Manner can be presented from both political and economic perspectives. The political objective of Manner is to further promote political reforms as well as the reconciliation between local ethnic armed groups and central government troops in order to maintain a stable environment for social and economic development.
(j)Walt the establishment of Manner’s new government on Mar. 31, 2011, a number of new political policies have been Initiated, such as the liberation of political prisoners and the registration of opposing political parties and leaders.In accordance with its political reforms, some of the previous international inactions have been recently relaxed by international community, which is regarded as a signal to encourage a further progress on Manners political reform.
@After Manner’s Independence from the British government in 1948, continuous conflicts between local ethnic armed groups and central government troops remain a severe problem, which hinders national stability and restricts regional development as well. The government of Manner maintains the policy of reconciliation with ethnic groups since 1988 and has achieved successes in 40 cases by early 2011.After the inauguration of the new government, a statement was released to further promote reconciliation with ethnic armed groups in August, 2011.
The economic objective of Manner is to revivalist Its economy and deepen economic reforms towards market- oriented economy. Manner began to take transformation from planned economy to market economy In 1998, but due to its excessive restrictions In national market, limited openness to the outside world as well as economic sanctions imposed by Western economies, the economic development in Manner has progressed slowly.After entry into SEAN in 1997, the economic development of Manner began to accelerate. To achieve its economic objective, the new government initiates a package of economic policies, Including reform of the dual exchange rate system, reduction of recurrent large fiscal deficit, vaporization of state-own business, transformation and upgrade of FED, establishment and development of financial markets, enhancement of infrastructure construction and etc. 2.Developmental Challenges In accordance with its national conditions and objectives, there are many developmental challenges for Manner, such as reform on land property, expansion f financial services, construction of infrastructure and social security system.
Among all these challenges ahead, the mall challenges are to maintain stable macro First, the new government of Manner has taken position of the former military government for less than 15 months and has initiated a package of new policies aiming to improve overall economic and social environment.With the new market- oriented economic strategies as well as national political reforms taken by the new government, Manner has made some improvement in both economic and political conditions and gains good comments both domestically and internationally. As a new-born government, Manner is short of capacity and experience but at the same time willing and being expected to take unprecedented reforms in various aspects of the country.
Therefore, how to maintain stable macro economic and social environment along with all relevant reforms is a top challenge of the new government.Second, the dual exchange rate system which lasted for over 40 years has brought severe negative influences to the overall economy of Manner, resulting in a great disparity of nearly 100 times difference between exchange rates in official and black markets. From April 1, 2012, Manner begins to apply with managed floating exchange rate system, which is designed to provide a transparent and stable business environment to stimulate import and FED from outside.
However, with the new exchange rate system, some industries tend to lose profits; for instance, farmers may gain less from export on agricultural products and state-owned enterprises may lose their previous monopoly positions. Hence, the government of Manner needs to take steps to balance the outcomes of changing its dual exchange rate system. 3. Approach to SEAN Integration As an outcome by the Joint efforts from both sides, Manner’s accession to SEAN was undoubtedly an important step towards SEAN integration.Due to Manner’s special political structure and situation, Manner was once isolated and imposed with sanctions by some western countries, especially the United States and the European Union. George W.
Bush, former US President even once denounced the government of Manner as one of the “brutal regimes” in the world. Therefore, when discussing about Manner’s entry into SEAN, the whole organization was facing strong objection and pressure from the US and other western countries.However, taking Jean’s completeness and unity into consideration, Manner’s participation is necessary and unavoidable for the organization’s overall development and in July, 1997, Manner got its full membership to SEAN. After its accession to SEAN, Manner managed to make great progresses in economic development, with its annual GAP growth rate increasing from 6. 4% (from 1993 to 1998) to 12. 1% (from 1999 to 2010)1, while 90% of its total foreign trade attributed to Asian nations and districts. As a new member to the SEAN community, Manner together withCambodia, Laos and Vietnam (collectively known as CALM countries) are involved in the ‘Initiative for SEAN Integration’ (IA’) program, which provides a Work Plan with 48 projects to ‘ensure dynamic and sustained growth of the sub region and prosperity of the peoples’2. Moreover, Manner progressively takes political reforms these years and has played an active role towards its integration to SEAN.
In December, 2011, Manner successfully organized the 4th Great Mekong Sub region (GSM) Summit and has been accepted as the host of Southeast Asian Games in 2013 as well as the chair f SEAN Summit in 2014.Unlike other SEAN members, Manner is set on a political velveteen from the former military government to the present new-born civil government, Manner itself strives to pursue for a market-oriented economy and at the same time Manner is progressively accepted by the international community, which have relaxed some previous sanctions and tend to recover their relationships with this country. In this sense, Manner obtains the attention from the whole world, which will definitely bring more opportunities as well as challenges for its future development. Future of SEAN Integration Established in 1967, SEAN serves as one of the most successful organizations among developing countries, contributing greatly to regional harmony and prosperity. With respect to internal diversity of its member nations, SEAN is reluctant to establish a strong supranational structure but put more emphasis on regional economic cooperation and growth. The economic exchange among SEAN members has evolved from only merchandise trade to the areas of services, investment and labor.
In recent years, as a regional entity, SEAN has also developed he “10+3” cooperation format with its Northeast Asian neighbors—-the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and Japan and broadened its economic cooperation on macroeconomic and financial issues. Moreover, to deepen and further promote SEAN integration, during the SEAN Summit in November, 2007, SEAN leaders adopted the SEAN Economic Blueprint, aiming to create an SEAN Economic Community (ACE) by 201 5 to build SEAN more competitive with a single market and production base.However, as for the future of SEAN integration, there still exist some structural problems. On one hand, comparing with the European Union (ELI) which shares a common macroeconomic policy regime among its members, SEAN has been still in the early stage of becoming a formal economic entity towards its regional integration, while each member maintains its own separate and variable trade regimes.On the other hand, due to its principle of non- interference in the domestic affairs of its members, SEAN also runs the risk of being a diplomatic talk shop, which highlights more on issuing declarations and action plans but with less capacity on implementation.
With the establishment of its new overspent in 2011, Manner has taken several political and economic reforms and has shown more active progresses towards its integration to SEAN as well as the international community.As a response to it, SEAN continues to encourage Manner to further promote its domestic reforms and keep providing generous assistance and support; the international community also shows its concern and friendly moves to Manner, with some state leaders of western countries visiting Manner consecutively and expressing their willingness to recover the relationships with the new government in the previous few months. It is can be inferred that Manner is witnessing an unprecedented opportunity to stimulate national development and integrate to SEAN as well as the international community.In conclusion, as a regional entity pursuing harmony and development in Southeast Asia, SEAN has gained some remarkable successes but still lags behind some other regional organizations (such as ELI) due to its structural problems and economic and political disparity among its ten member nations. As for Manner, with its current political and economic conditions, it is more-than-ever ready and willing to make