At the centre of the Asian region is ASEAN – the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, formed in 1967. The association is made up of ten nations: Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Brunei, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. During ASEAN’s original inception, economic growth, social progress, cultural development and regional peace were cemented as the core principles by the founding nations and still stand strong today. ASEAN's GDP is set to exceed US$4tn by 20251, and currently exports a total US$1.3tn, with forecasts predicting exports to rise to US$2.8tn by 2025, making ASEAN the world's fastest-growing trade bloc2. In 2020, ASEAN received US$70 billion in new investments the largest FDI inflow of any emerging market region3. If treated as a single entity, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) would be the third largest economy in Asia and the fifth largest in the world after the US, China, Japan and Germany4.
Combined, ASEAN forms one of the fastest growing economic powerhouses and is one of the world’s top five economies, behind the US, EU, China and Japan*.
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