This article was first published by TODAY on 25 August 2017.
Ms Sanchita Basu Das is Fellow and Lead Researcher (Economic Affairs), ASEAN Studies Centre, while Ms Pham Thi Phuong Thao is Research Officer, ASEAN Studies Centre at ISEAS - Yusof Ishak Institute.
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This is a part of a series of commentaries in collaboration with TODAY to mark the 50th anniversary of Asean in the month of August 2017. To read the rest of the series, click here