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ASEAN 50th Anniversary Lecture at Sydney Uni SSEAC

sEPaseanBY RICHARD FORD – Sydney academic Dr Sandra Seno-Alday, lecturer of  the International Business School at University of  Sydney and Executive Member of Sydney Southeast Asian Centre (SSEAC)  delivered  the lecture entitled “What the ASEAN Economic Community means for the Philippines”  at the  SSEAC  last August 3 as part of the ASEAN commemorative activities being held for the 50th anniversary  of the founding of ASEAN,

ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations  which is composed of  Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar.

Sydney Philippine community leaders and representative of Philippine community press were invited to  the event  celebrating the half a century milestone. Among the community organisations which attended was the Alliance of Philippine Community Organisations or APCO.

The Philippines itself currently serves as chair of ASEAN this year.  Officers of community organisation  Alliance of  Philippine Community Organisations (APCO) and its affiliates  Fil-Oz Liverpool and Visayan Association of Australia (VAA) Inc. attended the event, They included  APCO Inc. president Mrs, Pet Storey and APCO PRO Richard J Ford and  Fil-Oz Liverpool Inc. president Cora Bojarski.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, was established on 8 August 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by the founding countries of ASEAN, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN. Look up on the ASEAN Website, for further details.

At the conclusion Dr Alday said that the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) dream is great but non-traditional barriers need to be removed, and the Philippines needs to reach out some more to the region and maximise the opportunities ASEAN provides.

She said , for the Philippines it needs to lift itself from that 6th place if it is ever to make any impact on its growth in the region.