Burma chairmanship: a test that ASEAN may be failing

Even before the announcement that ASEAN member states had awarded the 2014 rotating chairmanship to Burma, it was already a foregone conclusion. Burma’s campaign to be reinstated as a regular member of ASEAN gained steam when Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Marty Natalegawa, began hinting at approval before his visit to Naypyidaw, Burma’s capital, last month. And once Indonesia was on board, other regional players joined in. Still, it is very uncertain what — if anything — ASEAN will achieve through this move

Undocumented Burmese workers exploited in post-floods Thailand

Under Thai law, migrant workers – except domestic, fisheries and water transport workers – are forbidden to travel outside their registered provinces.

The people of ASEAN are using the ballot box to send strong messages

In Thailand, the most consistent theme of the past five chaotic and even bloody years has been the unfailing will of Thai voters to remain focused on being empowered to choose leaders they believe will deliver value — economically, socially and politically.

Burmese Spring: The return of Aung San Suu Kyi?

Dramatic changes appear to be taking place in Burma. News last week that pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi has backed a return to politics for her party has added credibility to reforms being pushed by President Thein Sein and the “new government” in Naypyidaw that resulted from last year’s controversial election.

East Asia Summit (Asean + 6) calling for a new East Asian political architecture

The sixth East Asia Summit (EAS) will be held in Bali in November, marked by the participation of two new members, Russia and the US. The EAS is a pan-Asian dialogue forum on broad strategic, political and economic issues with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity in East Asia. It strives to strengthen global norms and universal values, with ASEAN as the summit’s driving force, working in tandem with its participants.

ASEAN countries agree to cooperation on flood prevention

Leaders of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN on Thursday issued a joint statement at the initiative of Thailand on cooperation in flood prevention, mitigation, relief, recovery and rehabilitation in response to natural disaster in the region.

Thai Floods May Shift Investments to Indonesia and Vietnam

Japanese companies, Thailand’s biggest foreign investors, may spend more to build factories in neighbors including Indonesia and Vietnam after the worst flooding in 70 years disrupted global production.

Four Incremental Steps Towards the AEC

In today’s post, we examine recent incremental steps taken by ASEAN to realize the ASEAN Economic Community. Considered separately, each step may not seem like much. However, taken as a whole, they evidence active foundation-building at various levels in ASEAN.