Facing the Inevitable: AFTA, the Digital Challenges and the ASEAN Brand Perspective
While the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has succeeded in developing its project ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), as the on-going digitalization of economic exchanges gains momentum, ASEAN may not be among its benefactors. The puzzle is why ASEAN can fail in developing its present and future multilateral economic projects in the realities of the digitalizing world. The paper reveals the specificity of challenges the association has to resolve so as to maintain the competitiveness of AFTA as the global digitalization intensifies. The author argues that ASEAN lacks sufficient resources to provide AFTA with appropriate digital support and offers recommendations aimed at raising AFTA’s competitiveness.