“One Vision, One Identity, One Community” is the motto of ASEAN community. ASEAN stands for “The Association of Southeast Asian Nations” which is one of the most powerful international community in the world. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967, in Bangkok, Thailand with the signing of Bangkok declaration. The Bangkok declaration or the ASEAN declaration was signed by the five foundation countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Today, ASEAN is comprised of the ten Member States which are Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei and have citizens more than 600 million people.
The ASEAN consists of three pillars, the Political-Security Community, Economic Community, and Socio-Cultural Community. Each pillar has its own aims which are related to other pillars. These three pillars can be compared as significant to improve ASEAN to be strong and stable as one community. They all aim to develop ASEAN to be prosperous and be capable to fight with other countries.
With this three pillars, the ASEAN community can play the very important role in ASEAN community. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN. Since its foundation in 1967, ASEAN has made extraordinary progress in almost every part. With coordination in political part, economic part, and socio-cultural part of member countries in ASEAN community, it can cause many good effects on ASEAN members, especially Thailand. Successes and advantages of ASEAN through 50 years that has been established this community, ASEAN’s achievements have been acceptable from various countries in every part of this world. Furthermore, every member countries, before, entered into this community, they had to develop their own countries to make their countries ready to cooperate with other members. Therefore, 10 member countries in ASEAN will already prepare themselves to develop The ASEAN community together, and it is easy for ASEAN to grow stably and prosperously among national society. ASEAN’s’ successes can, overall, be summarized as these followings :Political-security pillar is counted as one of the important pillars in establishing ASEAN community.
It aims to make peace among member countries, make ASEAN have trustworthy among member countries, and make ASEAN be the peaceful and secure society which are the basis of other developments. For the Political issue, there are many agreements that occurred in this recent years, most of them aim to make peace, create equity among ten member countries, and solve problems by peaceful solutions. Moreover, ASEAN is successful in appealing other influential countries, such as The united states of America, China, and the European Union, to participate in consultations or political agreements, especially, ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). ASEAN also supports relationships between ASEAN members and other countries in this world by making ASEAN plays a significant role in cooperation of region. Preserving peace is one of the successes that ASEAN can accomplish very well, especially protecting war. ASEAN create some regulations about trustworthy to make ASEAN members living together peacefully. With cooperation among members of ASEAN, ASEAN can extend its stability to defend conflict and increase trustworthiness among member countries.For economic pillar, it aims to create a facility for trade investment which can make ASEAN community has stability economic and can compete with other communities, such as, European Union.
Moreover, the negotiations between trade partner and ASEAN will be easier and flower. Economic progress in ASEAN has been growing steadily in recent years, showed by gross domestic product (GDP). Each country in ASEAN community has a different prominent point, for example, Myanmar is prominent in the fishery, and Singapore is prominent in technology. ASEAN community can cause a lot of financial benefits. For example, Framework Agreement on Enhancing ASEAN Economic Cooperation that occurred in Singapore, all members agree to establish and participate in the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) within 15 years. The Member States shall have agreements in other parts as well, such as transportation, tourism, finance, and investment. All of this can support ASEAN to be one market and one production base, can import and export products, labor, and investment among ten member countries freely.
The Member States shall narrow the gap between development and support members to participate in world community equally. Also, Member States shall strengthen and develop further ASEAN economic cooperation in the field of capital markets, as well as find new measures to increase cooperation in this area. Moreover, all members are successful in trade cooperation with other countries outside ASEAN, especially country or a group of the country that is a business partner of ASEAN as well. For the Socio-Cultural part, ASEAN aims to contribute ASEAN community that is people-centered. People-centered community means that people in ASEAN can live without illness, have the good livelihood, have good environments by supporting understanding among Member State in history, social, and culture. ASEAN aims to make member countries respect the different cultures, languages, and religions of the peoples of ASEAN emphasize their common values in the spirit of unity in diversity and adapt them to present realities, opportunities, and challenges. Moreover, creating social values and regulations of ASEAN in various parts, including activities that can create understanding in society, culture, and history which are different among ten member countries.
Also, supporting political improvement to be going in the same way, such as protecting human rights, encouraging citizens to participate in corruption, and supporting no nuclear weapon in Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. The aims for Socio-Cultural pillar can be accomplished through these five activities: human development, social welfare and protection, social justice and rights, ensuring environmental sustainability, building ASEAN identity and narrowing the development gap. ASEAN has much cooperation about the social and cultural issue, such as, good education, human resource improvement, public health, environment, protection and solution for drug and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), and protection of disaster which are the cooperation that has a lot of progress. In addition, ASEAN has many agreements concerning about disaster, for example, Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Co-ordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, and ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response.
Generally, Thailand gains a lot of benefits from every part of cooperation in ASEAN, for example, benefit from being stable and being peaceful which caused from cooperation about political security and stability of ASEAN. The main factor that increases investment from other nation investors is the stability of ASEAN that increases trustworthy of Thailand. Moreover, it also increases the number of tourists that come and travel in Thailand.
The positive impact of AEC to Thailand is that it helps to facilitate investment and trading activities in other ASEAN members as it is now more free and easier. Thailand will become the world center for producing food because Thai food companies are very famous and have strong power to produce food. Moreover, Thailand is located in the center of ASEAN and this will make food trade in Thailand expand at least 25%. Furthermore, AEC also helps increase the opportunities for investment as money is easily flowing among ASEAN members.
Trade between Thailand and other countries can trade easily because there is no barrier to obstruct trading. This can make Thailand exporting more and more goods to other countries easily. In addition, Thailand will expand the market for 600 million people in ASEAN community instead of the market for 60 million people only in Thailand which can make Thailand being an interesting investment.Also, Thailand can solve many problems easily, for example, the drug problem in teenager has been decreasing every year. Without ASEAN, Thailand may not solve these problems easily like this. Therefore, it is undeniable that being ASEAN member for 50 years can develop Thailand and other member countries effectively.
In the future, ASEAN community will have more connections with other communities and other countries in the world. This can make many advantages for ASEAN members. ASEAN will have enormous potential as a center of transportation, trade, logistics, communications, and tourism. ASEAN will allow the free flow of goods, services, investment, capital and skilled labor between nations, and implement policies to make it a more competitive economic region. Not only will this help ensure equal economic development, but also further integration into the global economy.