Cambodia became the latest country in Southeast Asia to host the launching of a new book about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
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The launching of ‘An Evolving Asean: Vision and Reality’ was held yesterday at the Cambodia office of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The book, which compiles the writings of seven leading academics and scholars from Southeast Asia, delves mainly on the evolution of the regional political/economic group which now counts 10 members and discusses some very important economic and political initiatives it has pushed, including the Asean economic integration.
According to ADB lead economist Jayant Menon, who edited the book together with Cassey Lee, senior fellow at the Singapore-based think tank ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, the book was borne out of a joint undertaking by ADB and ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute where they invited early thinkers from the original Asean-5 to write papers that would review the historical evolution of Asean economic integration, capture its achievements, examine the political economy factors that have surfaced in the last decade, and recommend a way forward.
Among the leading academics who contributed to the book is Chia Siow Yue, senior research fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIF), who wrote about the city state’s participation in Asean economic cooperation and integration.
Mr Menon disclosed that Cambodia is the first country outside of the original Asean-5 to host the launching of the book. The Asean-5 refers to the original members of Asean – Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand.
The book was earlier launched in the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia, with another launching slated for Thailand next week.