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Assuming the chairmanship of ASEAN isn't going to do anything about improving the lives of people.
Aung San Suu Kyi
I would argue that Asean has been instrumental in driving both economic growth and political development, and that there can be no clearer example than its relations with Myanmar.
Asean is obviously a very important association for us. Over the past 30 years Asean has made great strides in regional cooperation covering a number of areas, although recently it has been under strain because of the financial crisis and other challenges.
My own perception is that there are two tiers of countries, one, the original ASEAN, and then the new members. The new members are in various stages of development.
We will host the Asean summit in November this year. It will be an occasion to reflect on our achievements collectively and to look at how Asean can maintain its leading role in regional and international cooperation.
We hope that through these trade arrangements, through collaboration in training, in manpower development, and what have you, ASEAN in, say, ten years' time, will be a very different ASEAN.
When I hear people flatteringly say, 'You're an expert on East Asia...' I'm certainly an observer of East Asia, and central Asia, and ASEAN, and to a lesser extent South Asia and the Gulf, but there's always something behind the wall in China.
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