Brexit and identifying as ASEAN

Brexit and identifying as ASEAN

15/05/17

Samantha Deave, Corporate Services Manager

Doubt was cast over ASEAN’s cohesion, particularly in the light of the Brexit vote, by a panel of speakers at the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, which discussed the role of the bloc in today’s world.

ASEAN was set up for regional security and over the past 50 years has maintained peace in the region.

Whether the average citizen in Southeast Asia (not including those at the World Economic Forum), knows what ASEAN is – and what benefits the bloc brings them – was questioned by some of the speakers. The bloc has not been built from the ground up, they said, but is driven from a high level. At a time where there is a global push against the ‘liberal elite’, this could pose a problem.

The business and government community represented at the forum were keen to reassure the audience that the circumstances which lead to the UK voting to leave the EU were complex and that there were very few parallels with ASEAN and its Secretariat.