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Jakarta Post

Is ASEAN moving toward a community too slowly?

  • Veeramalla Anjaiah

    The Jakarta Post

Singapore/Jakarta   /   Mon, August 8 2011   /  09:42 am

As the 600 million people in Southeast Asia celebrate ASEAN Day today, some scholars question whether the 10-member grouping is traveling on a bullet train or a horse-drawn cart.

The answer to this question is perhaps both.

Yes, ASEAN is on a bullet train in terms of setting ambitious agenda, signing agreements and initiating action plans and new regulations to achieve its goal of creating a single market, a production base and finally an ASEAN Community based on the three pillars of economic cooperation, political and security cooperation and sociocultural cooperation.

In fact, ASEAN leaders meeting in 2007 in Cebu, the Philippines, moved the regional grouping’s main agenda from a slow trajectory to the fast lane by accelerating the establishment of the ASEAN Community to 2015 from the original date of 2020 with the main purpose of quickly “ensuring durable peac...