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Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Why ASEAN matters: key facts


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.


Following its establishment by the Founding Fathers, Brunei Darussalam joined on 7 January 1984, Vietnam 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.

A video on ASEAN's history and purposes.

ASEAN-Australia relations

Australia became ASEAN's very first Dialogue Partner in 1974; established a dedicated Embassy in 2013; announced the upgrading of relations to a Strategic Partnership in 2014; and began biennial Leaders Summits in 2016.

Read more about Australia's relationship with ASEAN in the 'ASEAN Secretariat's information paper (as of October 2017).

For more information on Australia's trade and investment with ASEAN see Why ASEAN matters: our shared prosperity.

For more information on Australia's cooperation with ASEAN see Why ASEAN matters: our mutual cooperation.

Key socio-demographic indicators

Selected detailed data from ASEAN's Statistics Leaflet 2017 appear below:

  • Population as % world population 8.7
  • Youth 15-29 years (million) 160.2
  • GDP at current market prices (US$ trillion) 2.6
  • GDP as % of world GDP 3.4
  • Urban population (%) 49.0
  • Proportion of population below national poverty line (%) 14.0

DFAT's ASEAN economic fact sheet [PDF].

More about ASEAN.

Last Updated: 22 February 2018
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