Who are we? We are a 600 million people with a shared heritage, and a GDP of USD2.1 trillion. We are the land bridge between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. We are a region with diversity -- in ethnicity, religions, linguistics, cultural and even culinary, yet we are one community. We are Asean.
45 years ago, the founders of Asean realized that our communities are inextricably linked to one another, interwoven in a tapestry of shared dreams and destinies. They formed a geopolitical and economic bloc, called Asean, to shape that tapestry together. These countries are Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. On 8 August 1967, Asean was born. From 5 countries, Asean expanded to 10 countries to include Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. 45 years later, Asean is a 600m strong, wealthy community with a GDP of USD2.1trn that is becoming increasingly well-connected through mobile internet and the low cost carrier revolution in air travel.
The time has come to realize that we are not just people of 1 country, but 1 region. We are Asean.