Southeast Asia needs a combination of physical, institutional and people-to-people connections to boost its economic integration, panelists told a Friends of Europe Policy Insight meeting on 27 February. This will require large investment – but also technical assistance to ease cross-border business links and the movement of people. “One challenge is to build rail links,” said Lim Chze Cheen, Head of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Connectivity Division. “We also need institutional support: If it takes several days to cross border, then that is not an effective use of funds”.

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