Economic integration in southeast Asia: The case of the ASEAN power grid

Center for Economic Integration
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Economic Integration, 2020, 35, (1), pp. 152-171
Issue Date:
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© 2020-Center for Economic Integration, Sejong Institution, Sejong University, All Rights Reserved. The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) Power Grid (APG) is an interesting case study on how and why beneficial economic integration may not proceed smoothly. This paper explores the discrepancy between the feasible and beneficial prosperity and the current modest progress for the APG, and its reasons and possible solutions informed by lessons from European power market integration. It compares Europe's experiences in energy market integration with the ASEAN's and identifies two models of regional power connectivity: the European Union (EU) and the Nordic Power Pool, respectively. The bottom-up approach in the Nordic Power Pool suggests that the ASEAN could still promote regional power connectivity even without a supranational authority as in the EU. The paper further suggests that the APG should not be limited by political boundaries. Full benefit recognition, cost-benefit sharing, soft enforcement mechanisms, and human capacity building are the ways forward for the ASEAN to attain power connectivity.
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