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The ASEAN Studies Centre of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

The ASEAN Studies Centre is devoted to research issues that pertain to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The ASEAN Economic Community: A Work In Progress- Seminar cum Book Launch

ISEAS, working with the Asian Development Bank launched this book as a stocktake of ASEAN's efforts towards the realisation of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015

ASC's Capacity-Building Workshop for Myanmar's ASEAN Chairmanship

ASC Head, Mr. Severino (left) with the Foreign Minister of Myanmar, H.E. Wunna Maung Lwin.

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Latest News & Updates

With Asean having marked its 47th anniversary on Aug 8 last week, ASC's Moe Thuzar shared her views with The Straits Times on the achievements of ASEAN as well as the tasks it faces at present.

Read the full by The Straits Times at this link.



"Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed regulatory approval for the alliance between Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines, describing the initiative as “a game changer” in his meeting with Foreign Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations..."

“The alliance also means more opportunities for New Zealand businesses. There are over 620 million people living in the ASEAN countries, and they are increasingly demanding the high-quality products exported by New Zealand businesses. Two-way merchandise trade amounts to $13 billion annually, and New Zealand’s exports to ASEAN were over $5 billion in the past year. This is set to grow as the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand free trade agreement comes fully into effect. Goods exports alone grew by over 20 per cent in the past twelve months. Increased air links will allow New Zealand businesses to continue this trend."

Scoop, a publication from New Zealand Reports. Click here for the full article



Myanmar says will not take sides in maritime dispute
ChannelNewsAsia reports - "Myanmar has been quick to emphasise a peaceful resolution to any conflict, with President Thein Sein calling for ASEAN to promote a common spirit of peaceful co-existence, harmony and tolerance, in a challenging global environment. He said ASEAN must show its leadership and maintain centrality. This is especially important in this fast changing political and security environment."

To read the full article and a video report by ChannelNewsAsia, click here.


ASEAN urges stepped-up talks as South China Sea tensions grow
The Today newspaper reported on August 11 "A senior US official said ASEAN countries’ concern over China’s maritime actions was at an “all-time high” based on private conversations, though their public statements were more guarded to avoid antagonising China. “We urged all parties concerned to exercise self-restraint and avoid actions that would complicate the situation and undermine peace, stability and security in the South China Sea,” said ASEAN in a communique, following a meeting this weekend in Myanmar’s capital Naypyidaw."

For the full article by Today, click here.



ASEAN Day is celebrated each year on August 8 to promote a greater awareness, consciousness, and understanding of ASEAN among our peoples and communities. We at the ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS, wish you a Happy ASEAN Day!





ASEAN 2030: Towards a Borderless Economic Community Book Launch

Join us for the book launch of ASEAN 2030: Towards a Borderless Economic Community- A study by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank and the ASEAN Secretariat. The event will be held at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies on 17 July 2014. For more information and to register, click here.


The ASEAN Roundtable 2014

The ASEAN Studies Centre will be holding the annual ASEAN Roundtable 2014, an annual flagship activity that has been taking place for the past 29 years, since 1985. The 29th roundtable this year has the theme “Moving Towards a People-Centred ASEAN” and focuses on issues and trends under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

For more information, click here.



The ASEAN Economic Community: A Work In Progress

If the measures in the AEC Blueprint are to be regarded as ASEAN aspirations and commitments pointing in the general direction of creating the region as a single market and production base AEC 2015 should be taken seriously not only by the ASEAN states but also by businesses and not-for-profit organisations. It is in this spirit that we at ISEAS together with the ADB, are organising this seminar, where three of the four editors of the volume are going to discuss the purpose and the state of the ASEAN Economic Community. The seminar will also throw light on business perception of the economic community. Featuring the publication of the same title.

 The full program can be viewed here- Seminar Notice

For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 25 February 2014



ASEAN Financial Integration in the Light of Recent European Experiences

- By Dr Ulrich Volz,

This research seminar will reflect on the ambitions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to foster regional economic and financial integration among its member countries against the backdrop of the European financial crisis.


The full program can be viewed here- Seminar Notice

If you are interested, please register at by 9 February. Seats are on a first come, first served basis.








Views & Opinions

Is Myanmar ready for the ASEAN Chair?

Myanmar assumes the ASEAN chairmanship in 2014. As the ASEAN Chair is expected to be the epicentre of regional action, Myanmar’s ASEAN year will thrust the country into the limelight. But is it ready? The ASC's Lead Researcher for Socio-Cultural Affairs, Moe Thuzar, assesses both sides of the readiness coin and highlights issues that will shape the contours of Myanmar’s chairmanship year in ISEAS Perspective, first published on the 30th December 2013.

To read the full paper, please click on the headline.


Enhancing Regional and Sub-regional Co-operation and Connectivity in ASEAN

"... Despite the various ASEAN initiatives towards integration, progress needs to be accelerated further… Better connectivity within ASEAN is essential for linkages with other regions, such as East and South Asia, which will help ASEAN maintain its centrality in the evolving regional architecture...".  The ASC's Lead Researcher for Economic Affairs, Sanchita Basu Das discusses about this issue in the ISEAS Working Paper #3, October 2013.

To read the full paper, please click on the headline.


ASEAN Defence Diplomacy and the ADMM-Plus

"ASEAN Defence Ministers are on the verge of making a crucial policy decision on whether to start regular ADMM+1 meetings with the eight dialogue partners in the ADMM-Plus process... There is concern about whether the ADMM+1 dialogue will complicate ASEAN’s policy towards each of the dialogue partners"...

The ASC's Visiting Fellow Termsak Chalermpalanupap discusses about this in ISEAS Perspective, first published on 26 August, 2013.

To read the full article, please click on the headline.

















The ASEAN Economic Community: A Work in Progress Edited by: Sanchita Basu DasJayant MenonRodolfo Severino, Omkar Lal Shrestha
ASC141 This is an important and timely volume: important because ASEAN is an increasingly significant and influential regional and global actor; and timely because, as the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community target approaches, what is needed is a sympathetic yet arms-length survey of the issues and challenges.

ASEAN will miss some of the targets laid out in its AEC Blueprint, but the reader is left in no doubt that the ASEAN spirit is alive and well.

ASEAN-Japan Relations

Edited by: Takashi Shiraishi and Takaaki Kojima

BM4991 This book on ASEAN-Japan relations is the intellectual highlight of the 40 years anniversary of ASEAN Japan cooperation. ASEAN has become an indispensable partner and friend of Japan and its role as the hub of cooperation, development and stability in the region will without doubt become even more important after the establishment of the ASEAN Communities in 2015.

The book contains contributions of the most renowned and respected experts on ASEAN.

ASEAN Economic Community Scorecard: Performance and Perception
Editor: Sanchita Basu Das

AEC book right size The official AEC Scorecard is expected to track the implementation of measures and the achievement of milestones committed in the AEC Strategic Schedule.  However, the Scorecard, in its current form, is too brief and general to be useful for the ASEAN citizens.
This book attempts to fill this gap and evaluates the current status of and the progress towards the milestones of the AEC Blueprint.

Enhancing ASEAN Connectivity

Editor: Sanchita Basu Das

Enhancing ASEANs Connectivity ASEAN has a goal to create an economic community by 2015.  To achieve the goal, connectivity among the member states needs to be given due importance.
This book looks at the current state of ASEAN's physical connectivity and challenges in building better infrastructure.  It concludes with the steps needed to be taken for implementation of the various plans, and policy recommendations.

ASEAN-Russia:  Foundations and Future Prospects

Editors: Victor Sumsky, Mark Hong, Amy Lugg

ASEAN Russia Russia is geographically and historically part of Asia and the Asia Pacific, and has been a dialogue partner of ASEAN since 1996.
To commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the Russia-ASEAN dialogue partnership in 2011, the ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS and its counterpart from MGIMO-University, Moscow co-organised a two-day conference that year, in which papers were presented offering perspectives from Russia and the ten ASEAN member states.  This is a timely book that affords the reader insights into where ASEAN-Russia relations currently stand and suggests how they can improve and move forward.

Achieving the ASEAN Economic Community 2015:  Challenges for Member States and Businesses

Editor: Sanchita Basu Das

ASEAN AEC 2015 ASEAN leaders proclaimed to create an ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.  But achieving the target requires cooperation and coordination both within and among the ten ASEAN economies.
This book examines the state of readiness of the member countries for regional integration and discusses the challenges to ASEAN businesses.  It gives policy recommendations to address some of the issues faced by the key stakeholders.  


The ASEAN Regional Forum
Author: Rodolfo C. Severino
The ASEAN Regional Forum The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) is the only Asia-Pacific-wide forum for consultations and dialogue on political and security issues.
Although many articles and books have been published on the ARF, this is one of the few books that treat the forum comprehensively and from the standpoint of the region itself.


"ASEAN Roundtable 2012: Examining the ASEAN Economic Community Scorecard II"
Date: 25 May 2012

ASEAN leaders have repeatedly conveyed their political will and commitment to build an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015.  An AEC Blueprint was adopted in 2007 that laid out a roadmap and is monitored by the AEC Scorecard, which is a compliance tool.  The second AEC Scorecard revealed in the April 2012 Summit, proclaimed that ASEAN has met 67.5 per cent of its target.  The objectives of the roundtable are to evaluate the current status of and the progress towards the AEC milestones and to assess the policy reforms necessary to meet the end-goals.


Report Series

Report Series 12
The Gulf Cooperation Council: A Rising Power and Lessons for ASEAN

Gulf Cooperation Council

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.