ASEAN urged to chart own course

ASEAN, now on its first year of economic unification, needs to decouple from China and become much better at telling the global community about its economic prospects, Citi’s regional fund services experts said. In the past, ASEAN had benefited from its robust trade with China, with Chinese consumption driving commodities growth in the region, boosting the exports of Indonesia and Malaysia. But when the Chinese currency depreciated and the US dollar strengthened, many Southeast Asian currencies were also adversely affected. In ASEAN, Bryan Murphy, securities services cluster head for ASEAN, said the framework had been driven by governments of member-states without any referendum among the people of each territory. As a result, he said there had yet to be a popular demand for such an integration process.

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