The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, also known as ASEAN, consists of 10 member nations. The objective of the association, established in 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, was to “to accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region and 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” (ASEAN official website). Originally, ASEAN consisted of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippians, Singapore and Thailand. Now, the association has expanded to include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Viet Nam. Since its inception 40 years ago, ASEAN has gone a long way toward helping the economies of its member nations and facilitating trade and other transactions with other economies around the world.
The establishment of ASEAN has allowed its member nations the opportunity to combine economic ties and increase potential for transacting business with larger economies. Because of close proximity, a natural trade partner was found between ASEAN nations and China. Since the time ASEAN was formed, the ASEAN member nations have exponentially increased the amount of business and trade they have transacted with the Chinese (Jun). In addition to geographical advantages of doing business with China, there are also cultural reasons. Millions of Chinese citizens reside in ASEAN member nations, so it creates a natural advantage for facilitating trade and commerce (Jun). In recent years, ASEAN nations have seen their trade with China drastically increase. In 2000, the total trade between ASEAN and China was valued at $39.5 billion USD. That figure jumped to $55.2 billion by 2003 (ASEAN web site). Currently, ASEAN has 20 million companies listed with the Chinese, and this accounts for 70 percent of the total listed companies in Southeast Asian stock markets (Jun).
Membership with ASEAN has...
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