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 2020-2029 edition provides a comprehensive medium-term baseline for agricultural commodity markets at national,  regional and  global levels, along with an initial scenario that explores the impact of  COVID-19.


  • 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 2020 Global Forum will take place virtually from 7 to 10 December 2020.

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 (2019) provides a comprehensive and comparable analysis of world developments and the growing role of Asian capital markets since the mid-1990s.

Digital Economy

  • The OECD's report on  (2019) proposes a set of policies aimed at building connectivity in the region and spurring the adoption of digital services by SMEs.
  • In January 2017, the OECD launched Going Digital: Making the Transformation Work for Growth and Well-being. The project aims to help policy makers better understand the digital transformation that is taking place and create a policy environment that enables their economies and societies to prosper in an increasingly digital and data-driven world.
  • Singapore and Thailand have increasingly participated as Participant in the OECD Committee on Digital Economy Policy.


  • OECD Economic Surveys analyse major economic challenges worldwide and propose reform options drawing on international best practices. The OECD has also conducted specific country assessments for IndonesiaMalaysia (2016, 2019) and Thailand (forthcoming 2020).

Education and Skills


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.
  • In collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat, the OECD has already conducted Investment Policy Reviews for seven Southeast Asian countries using the Policy Framework for Investment (PFI). The Investment Policy Reviews of Thailand and the second review of Indonesia and Myanmar are being undertaken. 
  • The OECD Investment Policy Review of Southeast Asia (2018) looks at common challenges across the region and at the interplay between regional initiatives and national reforms. It allows for a discussion of more thematic issues than are usually considered in the country-level reviews, including the possible role of regional initiatives in driving reform.

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 Green Growth Policy Review: Indonesia (2019) focuses 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

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 are more apparent, so 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 participated 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 with 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 country's labour market, economic growth and public finance.

  • The OECD's review on Social Protection System Review of Cambodia (2017) 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.