Panel 05 (Köllner)
Socio-Economic Cohesion in Southeast Asia – Potential and Limitations of International Trade
Daniel Köllner, Dipl. Geogr., M.A. (Ruhr-University Bochum)
Historically, the Southeast Asian Nations (Association of Southeast Asian Nations/ASEAN) are characterised by diversity regarding colonial background, religions, cultures, languages, population seize, population density, social circumstances, and economic development.
In the past, isolated state driven policies were applied to improve development. Since the foundation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in 1967 state-centred measures have been complemented by multilateral approaches, intending regional prosperity, social welfare, and economic sustainability.
Export-led growth manifested in the ASEAN-Centrality became one of the key-conceptions of the organisation. Compared to political conceptions, the export-orientation of ASEAN members seems less disputed. The ASEAN economic model has led to high growth rates, fast economic development, a reduction of poverty and a technological catch up to other industrialised economies. Nevertheless, not all people benefited from the economic gains, generated by international trade. The income gap between the advanced ASEAN members – represented especially by Singapore – and the least developed ASEAN-members – represented by Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar – still seems to prevail.
Where is potential and where are limitations to create a common Southeast Asian identity, incorporating social and economic aspects of international trade to improve regional sustainability in international trade? What are the prospects for Southeast Asian socio-economic cooperation? This contribution will analyse the socio-economic genesis of the ASEAN by evaluating socio-economic targets manifested in manifold ASEAN-publications regarding their implementation, progress, potential for future implementation and limitations. Methodological, the analyses will combine identity-based approaches, economic analyses, and quantitative newly developed indices, that measure traded income distributions. The international environment and global challenges will be considered to generate a comprehensive analysis of the Southeast Asian socio-economic sustainability in international trade in the context of the international political economy.
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