Wed, 10 Aug 1994

Hopes for ASEAN

From Bisnis Indonesia

ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) celebrated its 27th anniversary on Aug. 8. Twenty-seven is surely a mature age for ASEAN. It should be admitted that ASEAN is a solid and compact grouping, one relatively without friction. We hail its accomplishments.

However, the world's political and economic maps have changed. The end of the Cold War has caused the West to turn away from its allies and focus its attention on internal or regional affairs. This will force the West to be responsible for its own security and defense.

What about ASEAN in the wake of the global changes? They should naturally work for greater consolidation, strengthen their senses of togetherness, openness and mutual confidence, as well as adopt flexible attitudes.

Unfortunately, the latest developments show that ASEAN is increasingly vulnerable, both politically and economically. Look at the way Jakarta dealt with the East Timor discussion held in Manila. Keep a close watch also on the tripartite agreements on economic growth. Why not five-partite?


Bogor, West Java