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Archives [ April, 2015 – March, 2019 ]

ASEAN Under Pressure

Original Broadcast Date:
February 6, 2016(UTC)

ASEAN: Driving Force of the ‘Asian Century’

Original Broadcast Date:
February 13, 2016(UTC)

We focus on the the ASEAN Economic Community or AEC, a major cooperation zone in the Asian region that has for years been the growth centre of the world economy. We examine in depth the prospects of the organisation, and how this affects the sort of regional leadership that Japan should exercise.

The ten ASEAN nations, with a combined population of 600 million, launched the AEC at the end of 2015. The goal is to liberalise the flow of people, goods, and money throughout the region. Advocates say the creation of such a "common market" would serve to accelerate economic growth and give ASEAN a bigger voice in the international community. Substantial concerns remain, however, due to economic disparities among the member states, along with their differing political stances toward the USA and China.

What effect is the advent of a major new economic community likely to have on the world economy? What hurdles will ASEAN members need to overcome to realise the new body’s goals? And what is the role of Japan, which has served as a model for the economic development of several member states? On this edition of Global Agenda, we address these topics with the input of ASEAN leaders and a Japanese scholar.


Dr Surin Pitsuwan

Former Secretary General of ASEAN (2008-2012)

Surin Pitsuwan has held various appointments such as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of the ASEAN Regional Forum and Chairman of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. He is now engaged in the promotion of regional integration in East Asia and educational and political reform efforts in Thailand.

Dr Takashi Shiraishi

President, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies

Takashi Shiraishi is an expert in Asian Studies and International Relations. He currently serves as President of the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) and the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization. A University of Tokyo graduate and with a Ph.D. from Cornell University, he taught at University of Tokyo, Cornell University, Kyoto University and GRIPS.

Ambassador Ong Keng Yong

Executive Deputy Chairman,
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studie

Ong Keng Yong is Executive Deputy Chairman of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Concurrently, he is Ambassador-at-Large in the Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was High Commissioner of Singapore to Malaysia from 2011 to 2014. Mr Ong was Secretary-General of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), based in Jakarta, Indonesia from January 2003 to January 2008.

Prof Mari Elka Pangestu

Professor of International Economics,
the University of Indonesia

Mari Pangestu served as Indonesiafs Minister of Trade from 2004 to 2011, and as Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy from 2011 until October 2014.She is one of Indonesiafs well-known economists working in various areas of international trade, financial sector, macro-economics and policy reforms. Currently she is a Professor of International Economics at the University of Indonesia and Senior Fellow at Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).


Prof Kishore Mahbubani

Dean, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy

Kishore Mahbubani is an eminent global thinker. He served in the Singapore Foreign Service for 33 years, most notably as Singapore’s Ambassador to the UN and twice as President of the UNSC. He was Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Ministry from 1993 to 1998. Currently, he is the Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, NUS.