It is seen as a coming of age for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As 10 leaders prepare for their summit in Kuala Lumpur, ASEAN is ready to declare that it has achieved its goal of forging an integrated economic community.
In many ways, it has been a test year for ASEAN. Several challenges have strained ASEAN’s cohesiveness and credibility, including the exodus of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar who have been fleeing to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Also the slow response to the haze from land-clearing fires in Indonesia that choked neighboring countries.
On Sunday, ASEAN leaders will formally declare the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community. They will also set out ASEAN’s goals for the next decade, dubbed Vision 2025. The new way forward will aim to take regional integration, resilience and competitiveness to the next level.
CCTV’s Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.