Representatives from the Association of Southeastern Asian Nations (ASEAN) discussed security and community frameworks for the regional organization consisting of ten countries at the Global Economic Forum, which took place January 17-20, 2017 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
Agreement among officials stated that free trade and commitment to domestic and international stability is an important aspect of maintaining security, and that economics are key to the vision of security in ASEAN.
Pillars of ASEAN involve aspects of politics, culture and economics. While an environment of peace, stability and cultural exchange is evident, there are also opportunities for further growth and development through negotiations between countries in hope to become the fourth largest economy in the world.
While the GDP of ASEAN is presently growing at 5%, leaders say an increase to 7% would be beneficial to the economy to support sustainability and development.
The transition of American leadership was addressed among the panel, to which foreign minister of Singapore, Vivian Balakrishnan, stated that Donald Trump’s administration is not seen as a tense time, but instead an expectant time as the actions of the administration and policies will take priority over words in reaction to the ASEAN organization.
Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan stated, “I’m still optimistic you can have strong leaders… At the end of the day, they take a long-term vision and they understand what permanent interests are, and economics trump security.