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ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian
Nations is
a
political
and
economic
organization
of
ten Southeast
Asian countries. It was formed on 8 August
1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Singapore,
and Thailand.
Since
then,
membership
has
expanded
to
include Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar
(Burma), and Vietnam. Its aims include
accelerating economic
growth, social
progress, and sociocultural evolution among
its members, protection of regional peace
and stability, and opportunities for member
countries to resolve differences peacefully.
ASEAN covers a land area of 4.4 million square kilometers, 3% of the
total land area of the Earth. ASEAN territorial waters cover an area about
three times larger than its land counterpart. The member countries have a
combined population of approximately 625 million people, 8.8% of the
world's population. In 2015, the
organization’s
combined nominal
GDP had grown to more than
US$2.6 trillion. If ASEAN were a single
entity, it would rank as the seventh
largest economy in the world, behind
the US, China, Japan, Germany,
France and the United Kingdom.

1 An . gender disparities and high youth unemployment persist in the region’s labour markets.ASEAN INTEGRATION Over the past 50 years the economic landscape of Southeast Asia has been transformed by rapid economic growth and demographic transitions. The oldest and best known is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This contrasts with the overall purpose of the ASEAN Community to build a region with “sustained economic growth” accompanied by “lasting peace. security and stability as well as shared prosperity and social progress”. But countries in the region have also been shaped by institutions for regional cooperation. Strong economic performance has enabled all ten ASEAN Member States to achieve significantly higher living standards for its 600 million women and men. pervasive vulnerability. Nevertheless. which is now entering a new era as it reaches a major milestone in 2015 – the formation of the ASEAN Community.

through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). and mitigating excessive inequality. ASEAN actions towards regional economic integration must not only respond to market-related changes in global and regional demand. jobs. Whether or not the AEC accelerates social progress in the region will depend heavily on its labour market effects. They must also constitute selfdetermined and coherent efforts in delivering on the social objectives of the ASEAN Community. However. maintaining competitiveness with the rise of China and India. . wages and labour mobility.important part of the ASEAN Community vision is the establishment of a globally integrated and competitive single market and production base. skills. Understanding this dynamic between the AEC and labour markets is critical in determining whether regional cooperation will benefit all women and men in ASEAN. promoting full and productive employment. investments. built on the principles of equitable economic development and shared prosperity. and supply chains.2 The AEC reflects the contemporary economic challenges that Member States face including building resilience to global economic volatility. Increased openness will also have important implications for the structure of economies. The AEC will impact labour markets directly through the freer flow of skilled labour and indirectly through trade and investment liberalization measures.