Lin See-Yan: Let me start with a number of general observations on the three papers.

  • They are all well written, and provide deep analysis. For me, they present an excellent oral commentary on recent economic history, with special emphasis on Indonesia (Basri, Rahardja, and Fitrania's paper; BRF), Thailand (Sussangkarn and Nikomborirak's paper; SN) and regional trade (Pangestu and Ing's paper; PI) leading to the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community at the end of 2015. I am indebted to all of them for providing such a rich perspective on what's happening in the ASEAN region.

  • All three papers have the same theme—the need for urgent transformative reforms to get us out of the middle-income trap—but each with a different emphasis.

  • I should say it is not just Sussangkarn's Thailand that is “the sick man of Southeast Asia”—in my view, so are Indonesia and Malaysia, the three largest...

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