Economic liberalisation and regionalisation of the ASEAN region through the formation of “ASEAN Economic Community (AEC)” is forthcoming upon the recent adoption of the “AEC Blueprint 2025” by the ASEAN Leaders at the 27th ASEAN Summit on 22 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur.
The blueprint provides broad directions through strategic measures for the AEC from 2016 to 2025.
AEC will create a vibrant and competitive single market with over 622 million people having a GDP in excess of USD2.6trillion, thus transforming the region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labour, and freer flow of capital. The pack shall become the third largest economic blockin Asia and the seventh largest in the world.
On the other hand Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement TPPA,which is expected to come into effect in next few years years, will further liberalise the participating countries into the global economic sphere with bigger spectrum of market opportunities.
The TPPA negotiations that began in 2010 took five years to conclude in October 2015 and now awaiting for domestic approvals by various participating countries prior to its implementation.
TPPA, accounts for some 40 per cent of the global GDP, aims at providing market access opportunities for its member countries to improve their respective competitive advantage and thereby enhancing their competitiveness in many aspects of trades and productions.
While both the AEC and TPP promise better regional and global market opportunities and accessibilities respectively, market penetration by respective business entities will largely be dependent on the ability of the individual company to exploit the market potential.
In this respect competitiveness of the companies is key to successful exploitation of the business and market potentials promised by both economic agendas. Competitiveness in this sense is the ability of the companies to produce to the required volume with prompt delivery at lower cost while maintaining the best quality as required.
All agendas postulated by the National Automotive Policy, NAP 2014, launched early last year were centred at enhancing the competitiveness of the local automotive players in anticipation of the forthcoming economic liberalisation and regionalisation prescribed earlier.
Programmes designed and implemented thereon were guided by the NAP focusing on competitive enhancement on various aspects of automotive endeavours.
Automotive Supplier Excellence Programme, or ASEP, is one of those programmes implemented by the Malaysia automotive Institute (MAI) to provide a structured framework for on-going improvement of the local vendors.
The programme benchmarks the local vendors against one another and the best-in-class international companies in order to establish their respective level of competitiveness.
The benchmarking exercise examines 11 competency areas ofindividual company, namely; management and Leadership, financial systems and practices, cost structures and analysis tools, global sourcing and marketing strategies, supply chain Integration, customer focus, new model introduction capability, manufacturing and quality, safety, technology investment, and people and performance.
ASEP is designed to assist the local automotive supply base in achieving competitiveness and sustainability and is viewed as a unique opportunity for vendors to position themselves on the road to growth and a sustainable future.
ASEP implementation includes supervision and coaching by experts in areas of identified weaknesses within the respective vendors rendering assistance to the companies to formulate and to implement diversification strategies for their businesses.