ASEAN, in full Association of Southeast Asian Nations, international organization established by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand in 1967 to accelerate economic growth, social progress, and cultural development and to promote peace and security in Southeast Asia. Brunei joined in 1984, followed by Vietnam in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999. The ASEAN region has a population of more than 600 million and covers a total area of 1.7 million square miles (4.5 million square km). ASEAN replaced the Association of South East Asia (ASA), which had been formed by the Philippines, Thailand, and the Federation of Malaya (now part of Malaysia) in 1961. Under the banner of cooperative peace and shared prosperity, ASEAN’s chief projects centre on economic cooperation, the promotion of trade among ASEAN countries and between ASEAN members and the rest of the world, and programs for joint research and technical cooperation among member governments.
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