The Heads of State of ASEAN Members.

The Heads of State of ASEAN Members.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a geo-political group composed of founding nations- Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia, and members- Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar. It has emphasized regional cooperation in the “three pillars”, which are security, sociocultural integration, and economic integration.

ASEAN member countries agreed to create the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015 with objectives to create Southeast Asia as a region of highly competitive economy, single market, single production base, of equitable economic development, and fully integrated with the international community.

The economic growth of member-States of ASEAN.

The economic growth of member-States of ASEAN.

With this integration, how will it give opportunity to the businesses in the country?

Several businessmen, mostly corporations, in the country sees a strong growth opportunity from the AEC.  According to Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, each ASEAN country will benefit from the integration as teamwork between the countries will make a way to boost strength in contrast to individualism.

He believes that ASEAN should not only work on the structural framework but also to share the “soft” side such as arts, education, and sports. In this way, the AEC’s foundation will be strengthening more. He also advised that issues on security and governance should also be looked on to make the integration more sustainable.

The Lopez group sees this as an opportunity to expand their geothermal power business to ASEAN members and share their expertise.

For the Gokongweis, it means they can expand their food (Universal Robina) and airline (Cebu Pacific) to ASEAN too. With free visa among ASEAN countries, it can help boost their airline business and most importantly, in 2015, the ASEAN Single Aviation Market (ASEAN-SAM) will take place too. ASEAN-SAM aims to develop a unified and single aviation market in the region and open up air travel between the ASEAN countries.

With ASEAN-SAM, airlines operating in Southeast Asia such as Cebu Pacific can benefit from the growth in international air travel and liberating the tourism, trade, investment and services flows between ASEAN members.

Scenes from the AVA 14th Congress held at Manila. ASEAN Real Estate professionals working together.

Scenes from the AVA 14th Congress held at Manila. ASEAN Real Estate professionals working together.

ASEAN can be an opportunity for businesses, including the real estate industry. ASEAN has ASEAN Valuers Association (AVA), an association that caters to real estate professionals in Southeast Asia. Mr. Federico Cuervo from the Philippines once holds the post as AVA President and he was a highly respected Real Estate professional in the region.

Realizing that close cooperation among real estate professionals from the ASEAN Member countries would help promote the aspirations, objectives and principles of the ASEAN in accordance with the 1967 Bangkok Declaration, the l1976 Declaration of ASEAN Concord and the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia, the AVA was formed on 1981 at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The organization’s objectives are: to promote closer relations, cooperation and mutual understanding amongst valuers in the ASEAN countries, to provide the organizational framework for regional cooperation in the study and research in the harmonization of relevant fields of valuation among the ASEAN countries, as required by the social and economic development of the region and more particularly, and to cooperate with international, regional, national and other organizations in the furtherance of the aforementioned objectives.

With the AEC, Filipino Real Estate professionals can expect to work hand-in-hand with other Real Estate professionals in ASEAN countries. Currently, the 1st Asia Pacific Real Estate Convention and Expo (APRECE) 2013 is being held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. 15 cooperating real estate associations from Asia will learn and explore about Real Estate skills from international speakers and from 1000 real estate professionals composing of realtors, developers, architects, consultants, and marketing tools providers. This is one of the examples on how ASEAN Real Estate professionals can work hand-in-hand.

During the Sectoral Meeting with representatives from different Real Estate organizations, associations, and individuals last November 6 2012, Professional Regulation Commission Chairperson, Teresita Manzala met with the Real Estate practitioners, urging them to integrate and unify. She stressed the need for them to develop, educate, train, and be internationally competent.

She warned them to prepare for the new Trade and Business Agreement with the ASEAN by 2015 whereby the Philippines will open its boundaries with our ASEAN Real Estate Professionals. With this scenario and situation, global competition will demand and call for all Filipino Real Estate practitioners be equip with International best practices, governance, and prestigious professional competence.

Past AVA President, Federico Cuervo, during his stint with AVA.

Past AVA President, Federico Cuervo, during his stint with AVA.

“As the ASEAN unity progresses towards a single market, it is imperative that we assist each other in the development of each member-country. We have observed that the share of Foreign Direct Investments in the ASEAN was dismal compared to the larger economies in Asia. And a professional appraisers, valuers and assessors, we have the duty to contribute our share in the development and promotion of the structure needed for cross-broader investments,” ASEAN Valuers Association President, Federico Cuervo said.

The late Ramon Cuervo Jr., former President of AVA, said that “The prevailing spirit of trusts and mutual respect towards one another has fostered a unity towards achieving the principal aim and purpose of AVA- that of attaining an economic and social betterment for our respective citizenry.”

The elder Cuervo said that AVA members should continue to pursue and intensify their efforts to ensure qualitative improvements in their intra-ASEAN members through achieving professional standards and that it is their collective desire to establish a broader dialogue – relationship with institutions and /or associations of their kind in developed countries, particularly the Asia Pacific region in order to promote a mutual beneficial relationship.

He assured that “The years ahead will be challenging, yet undoubtedly promising and fruitful, if we (AVA members) cohesively strive to attain our goals.”

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