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Will ASEAN ever progress beyond being a forum to discuss ?

In a follow-up document titled “ASEAN Community Vision 2025”, an ASEAN community was to be built on two other fronts besides the economic: political-security and socio-cultural.

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Will ASEAN ever progress beyond being a forum to discuss, and sometimes settle, differences?

In November 2015, the ten Heads of State/Government of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed the “Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together” at the 27th ASEAN Summit.

The signing capped off what was a celebration of “the formal establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015” but also served as a vision statement ahead of ASEAN’s 50th anniversary.

In a follow-up document titled “ASEAN Community Vision 2025”, an ASEAN community was to be built on two other fronts besides the economic: political-security and socio-cultural. It was effectively a reiteration of ASEAN’s original goals of accelerating economic growth and promoting regional peace.

“It is because of the political stability and security provided by ASEAN that ASEAN has become the economic dynamo that it is today,” says Elizabeth Buensuceso, the Philippines’ permanent representative to ASEAN. “How can you conduct business when regions are in conflict?”

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Asean

Supporting disadvantaged women key to achieving SDGs in ASEAN

The study, which holds a gender lens up to each of the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda, confirms that when two or more forms of discrimination overlap, barriers increase

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Supporting disadvantaged women key to achieving SDGs in ASEAN, new data shows

JAKARTA, 1 March 2021 – Women and girls across South-East Asia who are members of an ethnic minority, live in a rural location, or suffer from poverty are at greatest risk of being left behind despite the region’s recent progress in gender equality, according to a new report by ASEAN and UN Women.

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Ecommerce

Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?

Oxford Business Group

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Has Covid-19 prompted the Belt and Road Initiative to go green?
– Covid-19 led to a slowdown in BRI projects
– Chinese overseas investment dropped off in 2020
– Government remains committed to the wide-ranging infrastructure programme
– Sustainability, health and digital to be the new cornerstones of the initiative 

Following a year of coronavirus-related disruptions, China appears to be placing a greater focus on sustainable, digital and health-related projects in its flagship Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

As OBG outlined in April last year, the onset of Covid-19 prompted questions about the future direction of the BRI.

Launched in 2013, the BRI is an ambitious international initiative that aims to revive ancient Silk Road trade routes through large-scale infrastructure development.

By the start of 2020 some 2951 BRI-linked projects – valued at a total of $3.9trn – were planned or under way across the world.

However, as borders closed and lockdowns were imposed, progress stalled on a number of major BRI infrastructure developments.

In June China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that 30-40% of BRI projects had been affected by the virus, while a further 20% had been “seriously affected”. Restrictions on the flow of Chinese workers and construction supplies were cited as factors behind project suspensions or slowdowns in Pakistan, Cambodia and Indonesia, among other countries.

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Startups

Vietnam Loship secures investment from Skype co-founder

This capital injection marks Loship as the first portfolio company of MetaPlanet in Vietnam and Southeast Asia.

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Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Loship, Vietnam’s fast-growing one-hour-delivery e-commerce startup, has announced its latest investment from Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn.

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