ASEAN was originally formed out of an organization called the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA), an alliance consisting of the Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand that formed in 1961. As such, ASA is considered the predecessor to ASEAN.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a political and economic organization of countries located in Southeast Asia. ASEAN was formed on August 8, 1967 by the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, as a display of solidarity against Communist expansion in Vietnam and insurgency within their own borders.
ASEAN itself was established on August 8, 1967, when foreign ministers of five countries— Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand met at the Thai Department of Foreign Affairs building in Bangkok and signed the ASEAN Declaration (also known as the Bangkok Declaration). The five foreign ministers, considered the organization's Founding Fathers, were Adam Malik of Indonesia, Narciso R. Ramos of the Philippines, Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, S. Rajaratnam of Singapore, and Thanat Khoman of Thailand.
The founding fathers envisaged that the organization would eventually encompass all countries in Southeast Asia.Brunei Darussalam became the sixth member of the ASEAN when it joined on January 8, 1984, barely a week after the country became independent on January 1. It would be a further 11 years before ASEAN expanded from its core six members. Vietnam became the seventh member—and the first Communist member of ASEAN—on July 28, 1995, and Laos and Myanmar joined two years later in July 23, 1997. Cambodia was to have joined the ASEAN together with Laos and Myanmar, but was deferred due to the country's internal political struggle. Cambodia later joined on April 30, 1999, following the stabilization of its government. Thus was completed the ASEAN-10 —the organization of all countries in Southeast Asia.
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.
Members of ASEAN:
|Member Countries | |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] | |Brunei Darussalam |Cambodia |Indonesia |Laos |Malaysia | | | | | | | |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] |[pic] | |Myanmar |Philippines |Singapore |Thailand |Vietnam |
The ASEAN was founded by five states, mostly from maritime Southeast Asia: the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
The British protectorate of Brunei joined the ASEAN six days after the country became independent from the United Kingdom on January 8, 1984.
The mainland states of Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar were later admitted. Vietnam joined the ASEAN on July 28, 1995. Laos and Myanmar were admitted into the ASEAN on July 23, 1997. Cambodia became the newest member when it was admitted on April 30,1999.
The Melanesian state of Papua New Guinea has observer status in the ASEAN. East Timor on the other hand is expected to formally apply for full membership at the 2006 39th Annual Ministerial Meeting of ASEAN Foreign Ministers in Kuala Lumpur.
The association includes about 8% of the world's population and in 2003 it had a combined GDP of about USD$700 billion, growing at an average rate of around 4% per annum. The economies of member countries of ASEAN are diverse, although its major products include...