Contrast to the previous subtopic which focuses on the interconnectedness between AEC and the global sphere, this subtopic focuses on the interconnectedness between AEC and the domestic sphere. This subtopic discusses the remaining two objectives of AEC, that is to create a competitive region and equitable development. Similar with the first two objectives, some also sees tensions and unbalanced practice in the realization of these two objectives. The measures taken to create a competitive region is at some cases compensating and far more developed than measures taken to create an equitable development. This subtopic, therefore, discusses the the pros and cons of this debate. In addition, it discusses issues related to the preparation and implementation of policies on competitiveness, such as what have been done and need to be done on competition policies, consumer protection, intellectual property rights, infrastructure, tax, and e-commerce? How do measures taken to create a single market relate to those taken to increase competititiveness? Are they coherent and complementing or are they walking their own way and inhibiting each other? More importantly, how do measures taken to increase competitiveness relate to those taken to promote equitable economic development? How have small and medium enterprises, migrant workers, minorities, and other marginalized segments of the society participated in the AEC? How does AEC or regional economic cooperation in general affect the path and policies of political economy of development of each Southeast Asian states? How does the evolving role of state and the position of nationalism in the making of AEC? Reflecting Stanley Hoffman’s similar questions in the EU, are they obstinate or obsolete?
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