ASEAN states aim to form a shared market next year, but experts say corporate confidence in the bloc remains shaky.
In 2008, the 10 Southeast Asian nations that make up ASEAN pledged to achieve a single market and production base with free movement of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled labor by 2015. The project - dubbed ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) - also focuses on the region's full integration into the global economy.
"ASEAN does not have the political will to achieve this level of integration anytime soon. [It's] still struggling to represent itself internationally and integration of the bloc economically hasn't progressed very well since its formation. I'm cautious on the region," Dariusz Kowalczyk, senior economist at Credit Agricole told CNBC.
Global companies are skeptical on the group's target. Asked whether ASEAN governments will actively push integration forward, sixty percent of companies in a Boston Consulting Group (BCG) survey published Wednesday said "maybe," and 10 percent said "no."