Yesterday, October 15, I was in Bangkok, Thailand, to participate in the “ASEAN Scenario Workshop”, organized by the Siam Intelligence Unit (SIU) and the Heinrich Boll Stiftung (HBS).
(1) Taxation, Regulation, Trade and Rule of law: Reform Challenges for the Philippines and the ASEAN, published by Stratbase Research Inst. (SRI), now Albert del Rosario (ADR) Institute;
(2) The Case for Unilateral Trade Liberalisation in ASEAN, published by the South East Asia Network for Development (SEANET), Malaysia;
(3) ASEAN Economic Scenario 2016-2020: Preliminary Projections, published by Alas Oplas and Co. CPAs (my sister’s auditing firm).
About 25 participants came, excluding staff of SIUand HBS, mostly from Thailand, then from SG, MY, ID, PH (me), Myanmar, Bangladesh. Plus participants from non-ASEAN countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Australia, an officer from the Australian embassy in Bangkok.
Among the activities were filling the issues to each of these STEEP processes.
I shared my hypothesis that Europe and N. America will be suffering from more bureaucracies, more taxes trying to sustain their costly welfare system, and many companies there will be jumping ship and ASEAN economies will be among their considerations to do business.
For years, it was my shortest foreign trip. Bangkok airport immigration stamped my entry Oct 14, exit Oct. 15. I arrived at my hotel almost 1am, checked out 9am, only 8 hours stay incl. breakfast, straight to the workshop, dinner, back to the airport.
Thanks to Kan Yuenyong, SIU Exec. Director, for inviting me.
Photo credit, Thongchai Vachirarojpisan, for the 1st and 4th (me speaking) photos. The rest are from my camera phone.