The OECD and Southeast Asia

In recent years, all ten ASEAN countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam) have intensified their participation in OECD committees and working groups, peer reviews and studies. The region has increasingly contributed to statistical data collection and international benchmarking exercises such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and Investment Policy Reviews and have adhered to international standards and norms developed by the OECD. The OECD Southeast Asia Regional Programme aims to further deepen the Organisation's engagement with the region.


The co-operation between the OECD and Southeast Asia covers the following areas:


  • The OECD and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) annually publish the OECD-FAO Agricultural Outlook. The 2016-2025 edition includes detailed projections of the medium-term outlook for commodities for OECD countries and emerging economies for 2017-2026, including a number of Southeast Asian countries.


  • The OECD Global Forum on Competiton brings together high-level competition officials from over 100 authorities and organisations worldwide, including 10 Southeast Asian countries, to debate a wide range of key and emerging competition issues. The 2017 Global Forum discussed competition and democracy, judicial perspectives of competition law, challenges for small and developing agencies, Viet Nam's competition law and policy and competition in public markets. 

Corporate Governance

  • Launched in 2014, the OECD-Southeast Asia Corporate Governance Initiative supports the regional development of vibrant and healthy capital markets through the advancement of corporate governance standards and practices with a focus on countries in the process of developing their economies such as Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam.

  • The OECD Equity Markets Review of Asia (2017) provides a comprehensive and comparable picture of the use and functioning of public equity markets in the region, including Southeast Asia. 


  • OECD Economic Surveys analyse the major economic challenges in these countries and propose reform options drawing on international best practices. The OECD has conducted Assessments in three Southeast Asian Countries: IndonesiaMalaysia (2016) and Thailand (forthcoming 2018).
  • Multi-Dimensional Country Reviews (MDCRs), a horizontal initiative led by the OECD Development Centre, support developing countries in designing high-impact development strategies. So far, Myanmar, the Philippines (forthcoming) and Thailand (forthcoming 2018) have participated in the MDCRs.

Education and Skills

  • The OECD also works in-depth with countries in the region through tailored Education Policy Reviews and has completed one for Indonesia (2015) and Thailand (2016).


Finance and Investment

  • The ASEAN-OECD Investment Programme fosters dialogue and experience sharing between OECD countries and Southeast Asian economies on issues relating to the business and investment climate.

Fiscal Policy

Green growth and Sustainable development

  • Indonesia and other Southeast Asian countries are regularly invited to the OECD Global Forum on Environment to participate in the dialogue on emerging environment related issues such as conservation, biodiversity, climate change, water and energy. 
  • Towards Green Growth in Southeast Asia (2014) addresses the economic, social and environmental challenges of Southeast Asia’s booming economy and provides evidence that the region can pursue green growth.

  • The OECD is currently undertaking a Green Growth Policy Review: Indonesia (forthcoming 2019). The Review will focus on assessing the country's policy framework for green growth and how effectively it has been integrated into economic policies and planning processes.
  • The OECD’s Urban Green Growth in Dynamic Asia project promotes green growth in fast-growing cities in Southeast Asia by examining policies and governance practices that encourage greening and competitiveness in emerging economies.
  • The OECD Water Programme promotes the design and implementation of integrated water policies that contribute to green growth and better health aiming to ensure good quality water to meet the needs of all users in Southeast Asia.
  • Since 2015, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore are Associate countries of the International Energy Agency (IEA). In February 2016, the IEA co-hosted the Bali Clean Energy Forum with the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) and introduced Indonesia’s Centre of Excellence for Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency.


  • The Mutual Acceptance of Data (MAD) system is a multilateral agreement allowing participating countries - which include Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand - to share the results of various nonclinical tests done on chemicals using OECD methods and principles. 

Public Governance

  • The OECD publishes a bi-annual Government at a Glance, a dashboard of key indicators to enable international comparisons of public sector performance. A regional Southeast Asian Government at a Glance publication will be released by the end of 2018.

Regulatory Policy

Science, Innovation and Technology

  • The OECD develops evidence-based policy advice on the contribution of science, technology and innovation to well-being and economic growth. The Review of Innovation Policy: Innovation in Southeast Asia and country-specific reviews of Viet Nam and Malaysia have assessed science, technology and innovation capacities of participating countries as well as the performance and institutional profiles of innovation systems. 

Social Development

  • In the developing world, social classes become more apparent and social cohesion is essential in bridging the development gap at domestic and international levels. The first country to undergo an OECD Social Cohesion Policy Review (SCPR) was Viet Nam (2014).
  • Cambodia and Viet Nam participate in the Youth Well-being studies within the framework of the EU-OECD Youth Inclusion Project (2014-2017). Country reports will include a multi-dimensional diagnosis of youth situation, youth-specific policy reviews and policy recommendations. 

  • In collaboration of the International Labour Organization, with support from the European Union, the OECD released a report on How Immigrants Contribute to Thailand’s Economy (2017). The report analyses several economic impacts of immigration on the coutnry's labour market, economic growth and public finance.

  • The OECD's review on Social Protection System Review of Cambodia provides a contribution to the ongoing policy dialogue on social protection, sustainable growth and poverty reduction. It also monitors the implementation of the social protection policy framework in Cambodia.


  • The OECD maintains comprehensive databases of comparable statistics to support its analytical and policy work such as the Revenue Statistics in Asian countries publication series covering Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
  • This Quarter in Asia | Asian Business Cycle Indicators (ABCIs) is a tool which provides comparable information on the short-term economic climate of Asian economies. Data includes seven major Asian economies: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.


  • Trade liberalisation has played a key role in the economic transformation of the region, and promoting trade and upgrading Global Value Chains (GVCs) is key to continued growth. In 2016, the OECD and ERIA jointly organised a regional symposium on 'Making Global Value Chains Work for ASEAN'. This symposium examined the participation of ASEAN countries in GVCs to better guide policymakers in their efforts to make this participation more inclusive.
  • Trade in Value Added (TiVA) is an OECD-WTO joint initiative. Its database provides indicators for 63 economies covering OECD, EU28, G20, most East and South-east Asian economies and a selection of South American countries.
  • The OECD Services Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI) is a unique, evidence-based diagnostic tool that provides an up-to-date snapshot of services trade barriers in 22 sectors across 44 countries, including Indonesia.