ASEAN Service Industry


Economic Parameter for ASEAN Countries

*Source: World Economic Outlook Database 2015

India Trade in Goods with ASEAN Countries (US$)

*Source: International Trade in Goods based on UN Comtrade data Developed by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (UK) 2014

Services liberalization in ASEAN has been implemented progressively under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) since 1995. The AFAS was signed by ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) with the objectives of:

  • Enhancing cooperation in services amongst ASEAN Members in order to improve the efficiency and competitiveness, diversify production capacity, and supply and distribution of services within and outside ASEAN.
  • Eliminate substantially restrictions to trade in services amongst Member Countries.
  • Liberalize trade in services by expanding the depth and scope of liberalization beyond those undertaken by ASEAN Member Countries under the GATS with the aim of realizing a free trade area in services.


  • The easiest investment option is the Global X FTSE ASEAN 40 ETF (ASEA), which is designed to capture the future growth in the region by providing access to the 40 largest and most liquid companies among the original five ASEAN members. With an expense ratio of 0.65%, the fund represents a reasonable option for investors simply looking for one-stop access.
  • Of course, there are a couple of risks to consider. For instance, the financial sector accounts for approximately 40% of the ETF's market capitalization, which means that an extended downturn in that sector could dramatically influence the price. Meanwhile, the distribution between countries is uneven with Singapore accounting for nearly 40% of the total market capitalization.