In 2003, ASEAN's leaders agreed to establish ASEAN Community by 2020. In 2007, those leaders emphasized their strong commitment to realize ASEAN Community dan accelerate its time target by 2015. ASEAN Community consists of three pillars which are interlinked namely: ASEAN political Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Social Cultural Community.

ASEAN Economic Community that will be implemented in 2015 is an agenda of an integrated economies among ASEAN Countries. The objective is to eliminate, if not, minimalize barriers within regional economics activities, for example in trade, services and investment. The economic integration agenda through ASEAN Economic Community  (AEC) 2015 covers a very wide spectrum of most strategic economic sectors.

The main goals of AEC 2015 is to significantly eliminate barriers within those regional economic activities and is implemented through four main pillars as follow:

  • ASEAN as a single market and international production base with elements of free-flow goods, services, investment, professional labors and capitals.
  • ASEAN as a high competitive economic region with elements of competition regulations, consumer protection, intellectual right, infrastructure development, taxation and e-commerce;
  • ASEAN as a region with an equitable economic development with elements of small-medium enterprises development and ASEAN integration effort for CMLV Countries (Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, and Vietnam); and
  • ASEAN as a region with full integration into the global economy with elements of coherent approach in economic relations with external regions and improvement of its roles within global production networks.

ASEAN Economic Community 2015 brings significant impacts for Indonesian business sectors because it creates free market for goods and services along with opportunities to develop other economic aspects such as labors, business competition policies, and other relevant aspects for Indonesian development. Through AEC 2015, Indonesia may realize its ambition to develop and empower small-medium enterprises in ASEAN and infrastructure development to improve trade and human resources mobility within ASEAN region.

With this perspective, ASEAN should not only be seen as a threat for industries as it increases the business competition but it actually brings many opportunities as it brings a more open and free business activities within ASEAN without significant barriers. As the 10th largest world economy with rich natural resources and competitive production basis, Indonesian business should be more optimistic and proactive in winning ASEAN market.