As a regional association, ASEAN must avoid the pitfalls of becoming a high-minded, elitist organisation, with its inner workings confined within the hallowed hallways of the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. As it evolves, it must adapt to the needs and demands of its constituents – the ASEAN people.This is where a strong social presence is necessary to help ensure the voices of the people are heard when the next major ASEAN masterplan or roadmap is drawn up.
What can we expect from 2018?The ASEAN Post began the year with an in-depth review of what to expect from the region throughout 2018. The review covered aspects including capital markets, energy, environment, real estate, general elections and the Belt Road Initiative (BRI).Last year, ASEAN was touted to admit its 11th member – Timor-Leste but failed to do so. The topic of ascension to ASEAN is easy enough to understand.
I am delighted that my first meeting with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) comes at a historic moment: the 50th anniversary of ASEAN’s founding. During those 50 years, not only my country, the Republic of Korea, but almost all of Asia has been utterly transformed. ASEAN’s role in harnessing and spreading economic dynamism has been essential to the region’s success.For Korea, ASEAN has undoubtedly been a special and valued friend.