Indonesia is likely to steal Thailand's position as the "Detroit of the East" once the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) undergoes economic integration over the next few years. That is the conclusion of a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit (The EIU), entitled "ASEAN automotive: Looking to 2015".
The ASEAN members intend to form the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of next year, further liberalizing trade and increasing economic cooperation. At this stage, there is a high chance that this deadline will be missed, according to the report, due to the immense challenges of bringing together this disparate group of countries-from wealthy Singapore and Brunei to impoverished Laos and Myanmar. Nevertheless, tariff and non-tariff barriers are expected to fall, freeing up trade and labor markets across the region, increasing competition and driving economic growth.