Similar to that of the structure and practices of the European Union, the well known organization ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) has worked for years just to encourage the economic and cultural development amongst the lesser known nations in the South East Asian region. The organization also aims to forge ASEAN free trade agreements with the neighboring nations. Moreover, they also are committed to the international peace and prosperity and it is one of the most emphasized goals in their recent statement as these countries look towards the improvement in the upcoming decades.
About the ASEAN Nations
Since its inception in the year 1967, the membership of the ASEAN Community has expanded to 10 Southeast Asian countries:
Brunei: Being one of the most oil rich nations in the regions, Brunei has witnesses an economical growth in last decade. Despite periodic dips in its GDP over the last years, Brunei remains to be one of the top oil producers in the Asian continent.
Cambodia – One of the poorest nations in ASEAN, Cambodia gets benefits from strong agricultural production, especially in rice production and growth of labor industries like construction.
Indonesia is one of the countries that have got steady decrease in inflation, couples with a proportional growth in GDP. Their major exports come from oil and its byproducts.
Laos- The landlocked nations that has one of the poorest economies all around the world; they are very much depended on foreign aid.
Malaysia- Also known a Burma, the nation is being challenged by several economic sanctions and financial problems. Though, they have shown slight growth in last few years.
Philippines- `This island nation is a service industry primarily and is known for the assembly of products being shipped throughout the world.
Singapore – In the year 2010, Singapore claimed to become one of the fastest growing economies due to their enormous banking power within Asia and prominent trade hub.
Thailand – The country projects a national growth in industrial sector at a rate of 4 to 5%.
Vietnam- The recent economic reforms in the country of the Asian Economic Community combats the challenges brought on by decreased foreign exchange reserves.
The Future of ASEAN Community
ASEAN Vision of 2020 sets goal to improve the peaceful relations between member nations as well as other countries. These commitments allow the member nations to handle the internal affairs without being intimidated by outside interference and force. This helps in economic and cultural growth. The association with other nations includes free trade agreements and treaties to seek benefits to the members with less GDP.
In concern to the recent weather and natural disaster related problems, the community has sought to place the eco concerns at forefront. Attempts have been made to control haze pollution and transfer to additional economic health. What success comes of this endeavor will surely demonstrate the influence and power ASEAN possesses as an organization.