HISTORY The Association of South-east Asian Nations or ASEAN was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok by five original member countries namely: INDONESIA MALAYSIA PHILIPPINES SINGAPORE THAILAND

Brunei joined in 1984, shortly after its independence from the United Kingdom, and Vietnam joined ASEAN as its seventh member in 1995. Laos and Burma were admitted into full membership in July 1997 as ASEAN celebrated its 30th anniversary. Cambodia became ASEAN s tenth member in 1999.

The Secretariat of ASEAN at Jalan Sisingamangaraja No.70A, South Jakarta, Indonesia.

ASEAN was formed with the intention of counterbalancing the growing influence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as well as in the Asian region as a whole. This proposal failed, however, because of heavy opposition from the United States and Japan. Despite this failure, member states continued to work for further integration and ASEAN Plus Three was created in 1997(China, Japan, and South Korea).

ASEAN has emphasised regional cooperation in the three pillars of security, sociocultural and economic integration. The regional grouping has made the most progress in economic integration, aiming to create an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.

Free Trade Area
The foundation of the AEC is the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), a common external preferential tariff scheme to promote the free flow of goods within ASEAN. The ASEAN Free Trade Area(AFTA) is an agreement by the member nations of ASEAN concerning local manufacturing in all ASEAN countries. The AFTA agreement was signed on 28 January 1992 in Singapore.When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members, namely, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam joined in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999. The latecomers have not fully met the AFTA's obligations, but they are officially considered part of the AFTA as they were required to sign the agreement upon entry into ASEAN, and were given longer time frames in which to meet AFTA's tariff reduction obligations.

Comprehensive Investment Area
The ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Area (ACIA) will encourage the free flow of investment within ASEAN. The main principles of the ACIA are as follows_ All industries are to be opened up for investment, with exclusions to be phased out according to schedules National treatment is granted immediately to ASEAN investors with few exclusions Elimination of investment impediments Streamlining of investment process and procedures Enhancing transparency Undertaking investment facilitation measures Full realisation of the ACIA with the removal of temporary exclusion lists in manufacturing agriculture, fisheries, forestry and mining is scheduled by 2010 for most ASEAN members and by 2015 for the CLMV (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Vietnam) countries.

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

TRADE IN SERVICES An ASEAN Framework Agreement on Trade in Services was adopted at the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok in December 1995.Under AFAS, ASEAN Member States enter into successive rounds of negotiations to liberalise trade in services with the aim of submitting increasingly higher levels of commitments. The negotiations result in commitments that are set forth in schedules of specific commitments annexed to the Framework Agreement. These schedules are often referred to as packages of services commitments. At present, ASEAN has concluded seven packages of commitments under AFAS.

Free Trade Agreements With Other Countries
ASEAN has concluded free trade agreements with PR China, Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and most recently India. The agreement with People's Republic of China created the ASEAN China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), which went into full effect on January 1, 2010. In addition, ASEAN is currently negotiating a free trade agreement with the European Union. Republic of China (Taiwan) has also expressed interest in an agreement with ASEAN but needs to overcome diplomatic objections from China.

Single Aviation Market
The ASEAN Single Aviation Market (SAM), proposed by the ASEAN Air Transport Working Group, supported by the ASEAN Senior Transport Officials Meeting, and endorsed by the ASEAN Transport Ministers, will introduce an open-sky arrangement to the region by 2015 .The ASEAN SAM will be expected to fully liberalise air travel between its member states, allowing ASEAN to directly benefit from the growth in air travel around the world, and also freeing up tourism, trade, investment and services flows between member states. Beginning 1 December 2008, restrictions on the third and fourth freedoms of the air between capital cities of member states for air passengers services will be removed, while from 1 January 2009, there will be full liberalisation of air freight services in the region, while By 1 January 2011, there will be liberalisation of fifth freedom traffic rights between all capital cities.

ASEAN covers an area of 4.46 million km2, 3% of the total land area of Earth, with a population of approximately 600 million people, 8.8% of the world population. In 2010, its combined nominal GDP had grown to USD $1.8 trillion. If ASEAN were a single country, it would rank as the 9th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest in Asia in terms of nominal GDP.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful