While evolving regional solutions to their historical enmities and weaknesses, ASEAN have developed alternative institutions and conventions that build a more peaceful and cooperative regional order and have transformed the countries in the region into prosperous economies.
(i) ASEAN is rapidly growing into a very important regional organization. Its Vision 2020 has defined an outward-looking role for ASEAN in the international community.
(ii) It has followed a policy of negotiations over conflicts in the region. ASEAN has mediated the end of the Cambodian conflict, the East Timor crisis, and meets annually to discuss East Asian cooperation.
(iii) The current economic strength of ASEAN, especially its economic relevance as a trading and investment partner to the growing Asian economies makes this an attractive proposition. India has signed FTAs with two ASEAN members, Singapore and Thailand.
(iv) ASEAN’s strength lies in its policies of interaction and consultation with member states, with dialogue partners, and with other non-regional organizations. It is the only regional association in Asia that provides a political forum where Asian countries and the major powers can discuss political and security concerns.