Converging Regulations for the Chemical Industries of ASEAN: Feasibility from a Political Perspective


Author/Creator ORCID





Bachelor's Degree

Citation of Original Publication


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I was instructed to write this paper for my internship with the Singapore Chemical Industry Council. The ASEAN Economic Community was a regional initiative which was to start on December 2015, and the chemical industry of Singapore was simultaneously preparing to implement a fresh set of internationally-mandated regulations. The Regulatory Affairs Committee of SCIC was keen on understanding what steps the industry ought to do moving forward in order to comply with the ASEAN Economic Community, and I was brought in as a student of International Relations to help several engineers make sense of global politics. Despite no prior knowledge of chemical engineering and its related regulatory regimes, it was a challenge I relished. The paper first establishes the key challenges which stand in the way of establishing the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) across ASEAN states. By studying the mixed levels of GHS implementation across ASEAN, the variety of Asian attitudes towards international regulatory regimes and their respective political economy could be divined and analyzed. Comparisons of the different types of regional integration among ASEAN and the EU were made, and the paper proceeds to indulge in offering several solutions to encourage effective economic integration in ASEAN. Acknowledgments and disclaimers: I wish to thank the Singapore Chemical Industry Council, and especially the Regulatory Affairs Committee for allowing me the opportunity to embark on this work. Several members of the Regulatory Affairs Committee were interviewed whilst collecting information for this paper, and their identities were rendered anonymous to prevent the jeopardy of confidential business information.