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 Fathers 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.






As set out in the ASEAN Declaration, the aims and purposes of ASEAN are:

  1. To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region;
  2. To promote regional peace and stability;
  3. To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest;
  4. To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities;
  5. To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples;
  6. To promote Southeast Asian studies; and
  7. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves.



  • 8 August 1967 – Creation of ASEAN
  • 28 January 1992 – Signing of the Common Effective Preferential Tariff – framework for the ASEAN Free Trade Area
  • 15 December 1995 – The Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone Treaty was signed
  • December 1997 – Expansion of ASEAN + 3 (China, Japan and South Korea)
  • 10 June 2002 – Signing of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution
  • 2006 – ASEAN was given “observer status at the United Nations General Assembly”
  • 2007 – ASEAN celebrated its 40th anniversary since its inception, and 30 years of diplomatic relations with the United States
  • 15 January 2007 – The Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security was signed, marking a collective commitment to ensuring the regional energy security.
  • November 2007 – The ASEAN members signed the ASEAN Charter – a constitution governing relations among the ASEAN members and establishing ASEAN itself as an international legal entity.
  • 27 February 2009 – A Free Trade Agreement with the ASEAN regional block of 10 countries and Australia and its close partner New Zealand was signed
  • March 2011 – East Timor’s accession
  • 26–28 February 2013 – ASEAN members together with the group’s six major trading partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea – have begun the first round of negotiations in Bali, Indonesia, on establishment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership
  • 31 December 2015 – The ASEAN Community, initially planned to commence by 2020, was accelerated and pronounced


UPCOMING EVENTS  IN 2017. will be updated soon.



On regional security level

As an ASEAN member, Vietnam has shown its constant contribution to the process of handling various matters of the region, notably conflict settlement and peacekeeping.

Acknowledging the cultural diversity, the political differences and the divergence of history background of each member country, Vietnam has played a significant role in putting an end to the confrontation between the Indochinese block and ASEAN by being the first Indochinese country to join ASEAN. In addition, it has been working closely with ASEAN partners in settling international issues with non-regional players such as China, Russia, India and the EU.

Vietnam’s effort in ensuring regional security can also be seen through its signing of the Treaty on the Southeast Asian Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. Furthermore, recognizing the ultimate need of international communication between ASEAN and other nations in the world, Vietnam together with six ASEAN ministers and seven “Dialogue Partners” (Australia, Canada, the EU, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, and the United States) founded the ASEAN Regional Forum.

On economic level

Since its accession to ASEAN, Vietnam has actively adopted a wide range of measures in different aspects of the regional and national economy.

Prior to the 34th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, Vietnam submitted its initiatives in narrowing the development gap in the sub-region, improving the vulnerable economic situation and strengthening the economy of the whole region. This proposal was then passed as “The Hanoi Declaration on narrowing Developing Gaps”

Well aware of the growth trends and the necessity of truly becoming a market economy down the road, Vietnam has steadily been making changes to its domestic situation in an endeavor to integrate itself with the grouping over the last 20 years, including the restructuring of its administrative apparatus and banking system.

The effectiveness of these changes and Vietnam’s success story is reflected in the growth of Vietnam–ASEAN trade. As Louis Taylor, CEO of the Standard Chartered Bank in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, argues: “ASEAN is the third-largest export market for Vietnam, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the country’s total exports … [and] the second-largest supplier to the country, accounting for 20 per cent of the nation’s total imports”. 



 Vietnam EU



  1. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations Overview – ASEAN website
  2. Why Indonesia must ratify the ASEAN haze pollution treaty – The Jakarta Post
  3. Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Wikipedia
  4. ASEAN Notional Calendar 2014 – ASEAN website
  5. ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
  6. Vietnam’s role in ASEAN – East Asia Forum
  7. Vietnam to benefit from ASEAN economic integration – VOV5
  8. Exports to ASEAN region increase 25.7 percent in 2012 – Vietnamplus
  9. New ASEAN community offers export opportunities – Vietnamnews
  10. Customs Handbook on International Merchandise Trade Statistics of Vietnam – Vietnam Customs website
  11. Preliminary assessment of Vietnam international merchandise trade performance in December and the whole year of 2013 – Vietnam Customs website
  12. Accessing Myanmar’s Growth – Insight for Investors, Frank Talk Blog
  13. Vietnam’s Import and Export in 2014 and estimations for 2015