The developments of logistics in ASEAN region

Thailand prides itself on its strategic location in the heart of ASEAN and its position as a regional hub. Logistics providers are expanding their cross-border networks, especially in countries that share borders such as Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Malaysia. The development of a region-wide logistics management plan that will ensure all countries share the same standards is therefore integral to the growth of trade and investments in ASEAN and beyond.

A close look at logistics management in ASEAN countries reveals that there are several restrictions that are present. The four countries that share a border with Thailand, namely Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, are at an initial stage of developing a logistic system and national policies. There is also an apparent lack of cooperation between organizations to develop internal systematic logistics, with the exception of Myanmar which is undergoing a transportation system reform, as part of a national economic and social development plan that also focuses on the development of other key areas such as basic infrastructure and the promotion of free trade in logistics. In Vietnam, even though logistics makes up 20% of the country’s GDP, there is no clearly defined and established committee that governs the country’s logistics industry, while there are also other problems such as a lack of the National Single Window to facilitate internal trade. Indonesia and the Philippines, both island nations, are restricted by their geological setup and currently lack basic infrastructure and logistics system management, not to mention other issues such as customs regulations.

Even though Singapore has the necessary infrastructure, technological advancements and trade facilitation superior to other ASEAN nations, the country still faces certain challenges such as national resources and its ability to maintain the efficiency and position as the regional leader in logistics in the future.  

It is important that we keep a close watch on the developments of logistics in other ASEAN countries, as successful business operations rely on cooperation between countries. We need to equip ourselves with the knowledge about the logistic systems and always be looking for an opportunity for co-development or ways to improve Thailand’s logistics to be able to compete within the region.

Compiled by : BLOG.SCGLogistics
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