The Economic and Business Outlook for South East Asia
In August 1967 the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand signed the five articles that created the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The agreement proclaimed ASEAN as representing “the collective will of the nations of Southeast Asia to bind themselves together in friendship and cooperation and, through joint efforts and sacrifices, secure for their peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity”.1 At the time of its creation ASEAN countries had recently suffered from a number of significant regional confrontations, and as with the European Union, the ambition was to create a region that was more peaceful and stable. In 1967 wars in Indo-China were still continuing, but the newly-created ASEAN was open to participation by any nation in South East Asia that signed up to ASEAN’s aims and principles. Today ASEAN includes the original five signatories, plus Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Negara Brunei Darussalam.
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