Phnom Penh (FN), Nov. 3 – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has deepened its regional integration after establishment of the ASEAN Community four years ago, Cambodian scholars said.

Established in late 2015, the ASEAN Community has been seen as a way to promote economic, political, social and cultural cooperation across the region and move the region towards a globally competitive single market and production base, with a free flow of goods, services, labor, investments and capital across the 10-member states.

"The ASEAN has deepened its regional integration and community notwithstanding against the trend of protectionism and unilateralism," Chheang Vannarith, president of the Asian Vision Institute, told Xinhua.

"The norms and values of ASEAN for open and inclusive regionalism prevail and thrive," he said.

"Specific achievements ASEAN has made are the enhancement of regional cooperation on smart cities network, further liberalization of trade and investment, facilitation of intra-regional tourism and human mobility, and increased flow of goods and services," he added.

The scholar said the main challenges ahead for the ASEAN Community derive from the implications and impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and climate change, increasing vulnerabilities of cyber space and digital economy, and the development gap between the new and old members.

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