English: A Bridge between the AEC and the Global Community

John Larsen


Since its inception, one main goal of ASEAN has been to bring nations together. As a
collective group the nations that make up ASEAN, originally Indonesia, Malaysia, The
Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, later joined by Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar (Burma)
and Vietnam represent a stronger force within the world community. The concept of bringing
together many countries within the region is similar to other collective groups of countries in the
world such as the European Union. These groups of nations have each recognized that there is
strength in numbers; that as individual nations they are already strong, but in a collective group
they can more easily work together to increase the presence of their region on the world stage.
When countries work together, they can achieve more not only as a group, but this achievement
will positively influence each of the nations individually as well. ASEAN has been a success so
far because it is an association which helps bring countries together, giving them a sense of
unity. It has also been successful in helping represent these countries and the region of Southeast
Asia to the rest of the world, simply through its existence and the power and influence that
comes from representing the member countries as a group that is an organization, rather than
many individual countries that just happen to neighbor each other. However, until a plan was
proposed to create the ASEAN Economic Community, the member countries had primarily
existed as separate economies which individually traded with other nations.

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