Policy paper

ASEAN Economic Reform Programme

This programme promotes inclusive economic growth in south east Asia, and increasing prosperity, through business environment, financial and business services.



Until January 2019 the ASEAN Economic Reform Programme was called the South East (SE) Asia Economic Reform programme.

This Economic Reform programme aims to address 2 themes: business environment and financial and business services, whilst looking at where the UK can add the most value. These are central to inclusive economic growth and support further sector-specific Prosperity Fund work. The programme is worth £19 million over 4 years, and is expected to deliver £351 million in primary benefits and £352 million in secondary benefits over 10 years.

Business environment

Improving the business environment can deliver a significant boost to economic growth. Each regulatory reform is associated, on average, with a 0.15% increase in growth.

Financial and business services

Economic growth would be more stable and inclusive if the region’s capital markets were developed further. Growth from financial development can only be inclusive if it meets the financing needs of households and firms, including the underprivileged.

This programme will operate in the 6 largest South East Asian countries: Myanmar (Burma), Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam), covering 95% of SE Asia’s total population, 95% of those in poverty and 86% of the regions GDP.

Published 21 June 2019