Wie kann die ASEAN ihr Potenzial verwirklichen?

SINGAPUR – Können zehn Staaten mit verschiedenen Kulturen, Traditionen, Sprachen, politischen Systemen und unterschiedlicher wirtschaftlicher Entwicklung gemeinsam handeln, um ihr kollektives Potenzial zu verwirklichen? Dies ist die Frage, mit der sich die Assoziation der Südostasiatischen Nationen (ASEAN) seit Jahrzehnten beschäftigt. Betrachtet man die ehrgeizige Vision ihrer Politiker zur gemeinsamen Zusammenarbeit, könnte die Antwort ja lauten.

Was als eindeutiger Schritt in Richtung Zollabbau begann, hat sich zu einem Entwurf eines dynamischen, offenen Marktes für 600 Millionen Konsumenten und einer Produktionsbasis entwickelt, die direkt mit den größten Volkswirtschaften der Welt konkurrieren kann. Einmal in Kraft, wird die so genannte ASEAN-Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft (ASEAN economic community, AEC) Südostasien mitsamt seiner Rolle in der globalen Wirtschaft grundlegend verwandeln.

Das wirtschaftliche Potenzial der ASEAN ist zweifellos beeindruckend. Gemeinsam würden ihre Mitglieder – Brunei, Kambodscha, Indonesien, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, die Philippinen, Singapur, Thailand und Vietnam – die weltweit siebtgrößte Volkswirtschaft bilden. Darüber hinaus hat sich der internationale Handel der ASEAN im letzten Jahrzehnt fast verdreifacht. Auch ausländische Direktinvestitionen fließen in die Region. Multinationale Konzerne hoffen, aus dem schnellen Wachstum der Mittelklasse und dem strategischen Standort im Schnittpunkt von China, Japan und Indien Kapital schlagen zu können.

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