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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).

High Level Conference on the Evolving Nature of ASEAN's Economic Cooperation

ASC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) convened the High-Level Conference on The Evolving Nature of ASEAN’s Economic Cooperation: Original Vision and Current Practice on 9 October 2014.

Seminar on ASEAN Community 2015: Managing Integration for Better Jobs & Shared Prosperity

22 Sep 2014, ISEAS. Featuring the joint ILO-ADB report examining the impact of the AEC on labour markets. Click here to read the report

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Latest News & Updates

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This report by the Economic Development Board, Singapore suggested that Southeast Asia is increasing in its potential towards becoming an economic powerhouse and manufacturing hub. Economic transitions in China provide the ASEAN region with an opportunity to capture a greater share of the pie.

The launch of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 milestone in ASEAN's Community Building efforts will also boost this. ISEAS-ASC's Sanchita Basu Das added “The reason ASEAN is going through the single-market production process is we need to have a production network within the region. The aim of the AEC is to make these countries participate more effectively in the (manufacturing) supply chain network.”

Click here for the report by the Economic Development Board, Singapore

The latest ISEAS Perspective issue by Tang Siew Mun and Sanchita Basu Das explains the significance oc the US State of the Union Address, delivered by President Barack Obama on 20 January 2015. The implications for the region are related to the state of the American economy, the Trans Pacific Agreement, reshoring American jobs and the stability of the alliance structure in the region.

Click here to read the ISEAS Perspective issue

The Diplomat reported in ASEAN Patrols in the South China Sea? that Vice Admiral Robert Thomas of the US Navy Seventh Fleet suggested ASEAN member states form a combined maritime force to patrol parts of the South China Sea.

Speaking at the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting in Malaysia, he suggested that such an initiative could improve operational objectives and training adding that it would be supported by the US Seventh Fleet.

This concept wouldn't be vastly different from Malacca Strait Patrols (MSP) undertaken by Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand.

Seperately, Singapore called for India to play a bigger role in the South China Sea as a counter to China's presence in the disputed territory. The latter has sped up land reclamation in the sea of late. This was reported by Bloomberg in India Should Play Bigger Role in South China Sea, Says Singapore

ISEAS' Ian Storey added “The reclaimed features will enable China to station warships, coast guard vessels and aircraft on a permanent basis in the Spratlys, thus enabling it to project and sustain its military and paramilitary assets far further south than it had previously been able to do so.”



Summary Report: High Level Conference on the Evolving Nature of ASEAN's Economic Cooperation

The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) convened the High-Level Conference on The Evolving Nature of ASEAN’s Economic Cooperation: Original Vision and Current Practice on 9 October 2014 at ISEAS, Singapore. The Conference sought to review the original motivations for ASEAN and reflect on how it has evolved over time. It facilitated an open discussion between the early thinkers of ASEAN (mainly ASEAN-5) and its current practitioners to spell out the recommendations for the future.
For a summary report on the conference, click here.


Seminar On ASEAN Community 2015: Managing Integration For Better Jobs & Shared Prosperity

The ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS will be hosting a seminar on managing integration in the ASEAN Community on 22 September 2014. For more details and to register, visit this link.


Symposium On Regionalism In The Asia Pacific: Current And Future Developments

On 21 August 2014, ISEAS hosted a symposium to share insights on the latest Regional Trade Agreement (RTA) initiatives in the Asia Pacific, including RCEP which ASEAN adopted in 2011. The symposium also sought to gain perspectives from countries that may or may not have multiple membership in these RTAs, and to examine the challenges and opportunities for merging these trade groupings in the future.
Click here for a summary report, to access the presentations and for photos from the event.

*Update- click here for pictures from the event.


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.








Views & Opinions

Click here for a full listing of Opinions shared by the ASEAN Studies Centre



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.


Visit this link for a full listing of Projects and Activities organised by the ASEAN Studies Centre


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.