Explore the destinations we are going to visit this year
What is ASEAN?
ASEAN stands for Association of Southeast Asian Nations and consists of ten member states including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. The aim of its creation in 1967 was to improve economic, sociocultural and political cooperation and to balance political conflicts between these countries.
Find out more about ASEAN in the following short video.
Each year we aim to visit interesting cities that give an understanding of the culture and business in the ASEAN countries. In this year’s edition of exploreASEAN we chose to include also ASEAN+ countries. Read more about what ASEAN+ means here.
With this year’s theme ASEAN+ in the Global Value Chain we evaluated 3 countries to give us the most insight about it.
The journey of this year’s exploreASEAN edition will lead us to two founder nations of ASEAN – Singapore and Thailand – and to one of ASEAN’s main partners and ASEAN+ member state, South Korea.
Singapore is a global financial and economic hub, where many international headquarters are settled to manage their businesses in ASEAN. Thanks to state-of-the-art technology and a strong Free Trade Agreement network (25!) and a reliable, highly advanced, and efficient logistics and supply chain management hub, Singapore has one of the best logistics performances in the world and plays a crucial role in the global value chains.
Even in times of the pandemic, which severely disrupted supply chains, Singapore’s strong maritime performance could be relied upon. This is a clear indication of how it has strengthened its status as a global logistics center.
Thailand boasts a rich history and culture, steeped in religious tradition perfect tropical islands, fascinating ethnic communities, and a rich architectural history, Thailand is undoubtedly one of Asia’s most popular destinations.
Manufacturing is one of the most important sectors of ASEAN second-largest economy Thailand. Therefore, it is not surprising that Thailand is one of the largest manufacturing hubs in Southeast Asia. The country produces a variety of goods such as textiles and apparel, footwear, electronics, machinery, including computers, automobiles and parts, gems, and rubber.
Thailand’s government currently is investing in four major infrastructure projects with the aim of transforming Thailand into a leading ASEAN investment and business center.
A country with big multinational corporations such as Samsung, LG or Hyundai has raised global importance in the value chain within the last few years. With its 17 Free Trade Agreements, including ASEAN, EFTA and EU, South Korea is a major international trading partner.
The country is looking to expand its presence in Southeast Asia and has recently launched talks with ASEAN to update its FTA. The recent Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) free trade agreement between the ASEAN and ASEAN+ member states is expected to reduce import and export costs significantly and will help facilitate international supply chains.
Today, ASEAN is the second-largest trading partner of South Korea.