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Today ASEAN is not only a well-functioning indispensable reality in the region It is a real force to be reckoned with far beyond the region It is also a trusted partner of the United Nations in the field of development said Kofi Annan the secretary-general of the United Nations Currently there are three major trading areas in the world North America the Pacific Rim and the European Community These three areas account for 80 percent of the Worlds Gross Domestic Products GDP and 75 percent of the worlds exports and imports They are known as the Triad The areas that make-up the Triad are North America including the United States Canada and Mexico the Pacific Rim include Japan South Korea Taiwan Hong Kong Malayans Singapore Thailand Indonesia Brunei Philippines Australia and New Zealand and the European Countries including Belgium Denmark France West Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Portugal Spain and the United Kingdom The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN is an important trade bloc of the global economic system Indeed this trade bloc represents 17 percent of the world exchanges It is a compromise between small countries and developing nations with a great economic potential market of 526 million of consumers Moreover ASEAN has a very important place in the global economy because of its power in the World Trade Organization An important factor in the convergence of economic interests in recent decades is the formation of regional trade Regionalism in the Asia-Pacific is occurring in a less formal sense than in Europe and North America The ASEAN Free Trade Area or AFTA was created in order to increase the ASEAN regions competitive advantage as a single production unit The elimination of tariff and non-tariff barriers among the member countries is expected to promote greater economic efficiency productivity and competitiveness The regionalism is a real success for ASEAN countries in social terms It has improved the health care the education and many
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