The ASEAN is a regional trading group of the South-East Asian nations. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by the five original Member Countries, namely, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam joined on 8 January 1984,
The ASEAN region has a population of about 500 million, a total area of 4.5 million square kilometers, a combined gross domestic product of almost US$ 700 billion, and a total trade of about US$ 850 billion.
Though the ASEAN Declaration states that the aims and purposes of the Association are: (1) to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and (2) to promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries in the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter, it essentially remains as a regional trading block.
Look at its trade figures. While the combined GDP is almost about the same size as that of
Mr. Ong Keng Yong of
The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a pan-Asia forum to be held annually by the leaders of 16 countries in
The first summit was held in
The 2nd East Asian Summit was held recently in January, 2007 soon after the 12th ASEAN summit there. The outcome of the 2nd EAS is an agreement on a concerted region-wide effort to harness alternative sources of energy to ensure continuous energy supply for their growing economies in the face of dwindling world oil reserves.
ASEAN + 3 refers to the 10 ASEAN member countries, and
The European Union has indicated it wishes to have a role as an observer.
However, ASEAN has decided to freeze new "membership" of EAS for at least two years (which would seem to cover the second and third EAS).
ASEAN Regional Forum
The ASEAN Regional Forum is an informal multilateral dialogue of 25 members that seeks to address security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The ARF met for the first time in 1994. The current participants in the ARF are as follows: ASEAN,