ASEAN as the nucleus of an emerging Asia

TOKYO - As one of the fastest growing regions with various economic partnerships, ASEAN is the nucleus of an emerging Asia, Le Luong Minh, the bloc's secretary-general, argued.

Growth is robust in Asia amid uncertainties in developed economies, and investors are looking for the "nucleus" within the region to place their bets. "In this regards, no other region is as well-positioned as ASEAN is, as a hub to showcase the prospect of an Asian century," Minh said in his speech Thursday at Nikkei's Future of Asia conference.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which is made up of 10 countries in the region with different development levels, is the second-fastest growing economy in Asia after China, with a total gross domestic product of about $2.8 trillion in 2014.

Minh, who was Vietnam's former ambassador to the United Nations, said despite the disparities within ASEAN, the bloc will continue to grow based on the three fundamentals that have pulled the nations together since 1967.

These are the adoption of a non-interference policy under the Treat of Amity and Cooperation, the forging of dialogue with greater powers to foster peace and security in the region, and a constant reinvention of itself by engaging bigger economies in trade agreements.

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