Since its founding in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has been an increasingly large part of the life of Southeast Asia, although most people in the region kw very little about it. ASEAN has helped bring peace and stability to the region. It has successfully engaged the world's major powers, in East Asia and beyond. ASEAN has taken steps to integrate the regional ecomy as an important means of cooperatively improving the region's competitiveness, attracting investments, generating jobs, raising incomes, and lowering costs and prices. ASEAN has also formed networks for dealing with regional problems like communicable diseases, environmental degradation, and transnational crime. An essential part of the Southeast Asia Background Series , this book seeks to shed some light on what ASEAN is all about.
Rodolfo C Severino, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, and was former Secretary-General of ASEAN (1998-2002).