The Growing Together: ASEAN at 47 forum was held on 8 August 2014 at Perdana Room, Royal Lake Club
The Growing Together: ASEAN at 47 forum was organized to celebrate ASEAN’s successes and consider the impact of the organization in the region. Currently, ASEAN is an adaptive and responsive organization with loose structures. The organization’s behaviour is not dictated by its more powerful members, but rather is directed by a rotating ASEAN chairmanship. In recent years, ASEAN has also adopted a charter, a roadmap, and a Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. August 8, 2014 therefore marked the 47th anniversary of the establishment of ASEAN and the forum provided opportunities for several member countries to reflect on the past and express their vision for the future of the organization.
The day’s forum was moderated by CPPS Chairman, Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam who made the point that it is remarkable to see how far ASEAN has advanced. Tan Sri Navaratnam also mentioned that he hoped ASEAN would move ahead in more concrete ways. In his welcoming address, CEO of ASLI, Tan Sri Michael Yeoh acknowledge that 47 years is a long time for an organization to exist. Therefore, it was necessary to reflect on the achievements and successes of ASEAN and consider the organization’s future challenges and ASEAN’s vision post-2015.
In the well-known ancient Indian parable, several blind men touch an elephant to learn what it is like. The one who feels a leg thinks an elephant is like a pillar. The one who feels the tail thinks it is like a rope. Another who feels the trunk thinks it is like a tree branch.
Conversations about globalization often share this characteristic. Those who focus on factory closures and outsourcing see globalization as causing job losses and lower wages in the developed world. Those who focus on factory disasters such as those in Bangladesh see it contributing to unsafe conditions and poor labor standards for workers in developing countries.