50TH Anniversary of ASEAN marked on May 8th, 2017, in Aula Magna of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE)

50TH Anniversary of ASEAN marked on May 8th, 2017, in Aula Magna of the Bucharest University of Economic Studies (ASE)

On August 17, 2017 the ASOCIATION OF THE SOUTHEAST ASIA NATIONS – ASEAN marks its 50th Anniversary as driving force of the regional architecture in this part of the world in the Century of Asia


Taking into consideration the importance of the moment in ASEAN’s progress and with the intention to make young students to realize it, on May 8, 2017, based on the Agreement of Cooperation with the University of Economic Studies (ASE), in the framework of the “International Week” declared by ASE, IRSEA together with the Faculty of International Business and Economics organized a conference called “ASEAN DAY” dedicated to the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN. It was the first such event that took place so far in Romania this year.

Before the event started, the Chief Guests and main Speakers - the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia, H.E. Mr DIAR NURBINTORO, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Malaysia, H.E. Dato’ TAJUL AMAN  MOHAMAD and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, H.E. Mr TRAN THANH CONG were received by Prof. MARIUS PROFIROIU, Vice Rector, in charged with International  Relationships of ASE, attended by Prof. DOREL PARASCHIV, Vice Rector, in charged with the Relationships with economic and social environment and student life,  Prof. GHEORGHE HURDUZEU, Dean, Faculty of  International Business and Economics and Prof. Anca Ilie, Vice Dean, Faculty of International Business and Economics.

The main Speakers and the Moderator were introduced to the audience by Prof. Gheorghe Hurduzeu, Dean of the Faculty for Business and Economics. 

The three carrier diplomats that served with full devotion and dedication  their countries have exceptionally and in a high class style emphasised  the results achieved by ASEAN by presenting, in the same order as above, selective topics on “Introduction to ASEAN and ASEAN Connectivity”, “ASEAN - EU Relations and ASEAN - EU Free Trade Agreement” and “Tourism in ASEAN”.

The moderator was Former Ambassador Gheorghe Savuica, President of IRSEA, who himself is a carrier diplomat and a specialist on Southeast Asia, speaker of Bahasa Indonesia, who served as Head of the Romanian Diplomatic Missions to Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, and Finland/Estonia, and  Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Romania to Indonesia and Pakistan.

In the audience there were more than 100 students from the University of Economic Studies (ASE), primarily from the Faculty of International Business and Economics, who had the pleasant chance to enter into a vibrant Q&A session with their Excellencies representing Indonesia, Malaysia and Viet Nam.

At the end of the event, Prof. Gheorhe Hurduzeu presented “Certificate of Excellence” to the main Speakers and Moderator on behalf of the Faculty of International Business and Economics, Bucharest.


View point expressed by the Moderator



The Southeast Asian countries back into 1967 when they were confronted with cold war and the necessity to consolidate their newly gained independence and the formation as emerging forces they needed a regional cooperation. It goes to the merit of well-known and illustrious leaders of the five founder countries- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, who opted in favour of an economic organization and not a military bloc.

The overall  fundamental principles adopted  as foundation of ASEAN construction and particularly   respect for the independence and national sovereignty and non-interference being it world or regional into internal affairs are still fresh in importance for all now 10 ASEAN member countries and were preserved, defended, unaltered, clean and applied with real goodwill by each and all of them.

ASEAN so far has passed through three important steps: exclusive economic regional organization; primarily economic regional organization with added political, security and social –cultural dimensions; and regional organization in full process of political, security, economic and socio-cultural integration, which led in 2015 to ASEAN COMMUNITY based on three pillars: the Political-Security Community, Economic Community and Socio-Cultural Community.

ASEAN COMMUNITY is developing without hesitations or second thoughts towards the target of „one vision, one identity, one community”, as it comprised in the document adopted at the end of 2015 by the Head of States at ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur -“ASEAN 2025: FORGING AHEAD TOGHETHER”  

The prestigious results achieved by ASEAN are coming as a proof for the position adopted and announced  by Romania in 1967 on the creation of ASEAN by officially recognising it as genuine economic regional organization as per its documents. By doing so, Romania was one from the very few countries at that time to declare from the outset such a realistic political and diplomatic recognition. Many other countries initially viewed ASEAN as a substitute to the military bloc of that time called Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO).

As far as the relations between Romania and ASEAN as organization are concerned the most vivid step is the concurrent accreditation to ASEAN of Romania’s Ambassador to Indonesia. Bucharest  supports and is part of the European Union strategy for developping  relations with ASEAN.

There are expections that Romania, likewise some several other memberes of the European Union,and not only, will try to identify the most appropriate avenues from the diverse and vast existing ways and means provided by ASEAN structure and rules to enter as well into a direct bilateral partnership with ASEAN as organization.




Good morning,

Dear Ambassadors, Rectors, Vice Rectors, Dean and Vice Deans, esteemed students, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

As the first speaker today, first of all I would like to convey my highest appreciation and acknowledgement to the organizer of this event for arranging this seminar for Embassies from ASEAN member states in Bucharest to give a glance about potentials, diversities and opportunities of the ASEAN as a region.

I believe that this event will provide the very best prospect for all of us here today to learn new perspectives, as well as progress of the ASEAN Community to establish the One Vision, One Identity and One Community by the year of 2025. 


ASEAN was established in 1967 through The ASEAN Charter or Bangkok Declaration, consisted of 5 founding Countries, namely Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, The Philippines and Thailand.

Brunei Joined ASEAN since 1984, later the expansion of membership of ASEAN includes Vietnam in 1995, Laos in 1997, Myanmar in 1997 and Cambodia in 1999.

The concept of ASEAN, as a Community, is built on three pillars, namely:

• The ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC),

• The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), and

• The ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

FACTS OF ASEAN : Geography

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, is a group of ten member countries that encourages political, economic, and social cooperation in the region. In 2015 ASEAN tied together 646 million people and about 4.4 million square kilometers of land.

Today, the group is considered one of the most successful regional organizations in the world, and it seems to have a brighter future ahead. 


According to World’s Bank data, ASEAN, as a region, has contributed to 2,4 trillion US Dollars to the world’s GDP. Each member states has contributed to the amount of the total GDP as follows: Indonesia 867 billion US Dollars, followed by Thailand with 401 billion US Dollars, Malaysia with 312 billion US Dollars, Singapore with 287 billion US Dollars, The Philippines contributed 272 billion US Dollars, Viet Nam with 170 billion US Dollars. Myanmar, Brunei, Cambodia and Laos consecutively contributed 59 billion, 17 billion and 10 billion US Dollars.


Connectivity in ASEAN refers to the physical, institutional, and people-to-people linkages that can contribute towards a more competitive, inclusive, and cohesive ASEAN. Greater connectivity supports the political-security, economic, and socio-cultural pillars of an integrated ASEAN Community.

The Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2010, MPAC for short, is a strategic document to guide actions to improve connectivity in the region. At the 25 ASEAN Summit in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2014, ASEAN Leaders tasked the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating Committee to conduct a comprehensive review of MPAC implementation and formulate the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025.

Roadmap on ASEAN Connectivity consists of the concepts: 

a. Sustainable Infrastructure

b. Digital Innovation

c. Seamless Logistic

d. Regulatory Excellence, and

e. People Mobility 


The vision of MPAC is to achieve a seamlessly and comprehensively connected and integrated ASEAN that will promote competitiveness, inclusiveness, and a greater sense of Community.

The connectivity is going to be achieved through the Roadmap on ASEAN Connectivity: 

Firstly is Sustainable Infrastructure, the strategies involved are to Increase public and private infrastructure investment in each ASEAN Member State, as needed; to Significantly enhance the evaluation and sharing of best practices on infrastructure productivity in ASEAN; and to increase the deployment of smart urbanization models across ASEAN.

Secondly, Digital Innovation, the strategies involved are to Support the adoption of technology by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs); to Support financial access through digital technologies; to Improve open data use in ASEAN Member States; and to Support enhanced data management in ASEAN Member States.

Third, Seamless Logistic, the strategies are to lower supply chain costs in each ASEAN Member State; and improve speed and reliability of supply chains in each ASEAN Member State

Fourthly, Regulatory Excellence, the strategies involved are to Harmonize or mutually recognize standards, conformance, and technical regulations for products in key sectors; and to Reduce number of trade-distorting non-tariff measures across ASEAN Member States. 

And the last strategies in People Mobility are to support ease of travel throughout ASEAN; to reduce the gaps between vocational skills demand and supply across ASEAN; and to increase the number of intra-ASEAN international students.

People mobility

I would like to focus on the People Mobility aspect of the Master plan. Integral Visa Policy between member states of ASEAN agreed on the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Visa Exemption on July 2006 to exempt visa of ASEAN member states citizen to travel within the region of ASEAN.

With the institutionalisation of visa-free travel between ASEAN member states, intra-ASEAN travel has boomed, a sign that endeavours to form an ASEAN community may bear fruit in years to come. In 2010, 47% or 34 million out of 73 million tourists in ASEAN member-states were from other ASEAN countries.

Labour mobility  

Restrictions on travel for ASEAN nationals within the region are largely a thing of the past. However, there are still opportunities to improve mobility in ASEAN. Opportunities include facilitating travel for tourists by addressing the lack of information on travel options and providing simpler mechanisms to apply for necessary visas. Additionally, there is an opportunity to strengthen skills mobility in the region and, where appropriate, by establishing high-quality qualification frameworks in critical vocational occupations, and to encourage greater mobility of intra-ASEAN university students.

ASEAN Member States need to rapidly develop their human capital and workforce skills. Today, 11 percent of ASEAN’s population, have no education, and roughly 60 percent have only primary education or lower. In Indonesia and Myanmar alone, there is a projected undersupply of 9 million skilled and 13 million semi-skilled workers by 2030. Recent academic research suggests that, based on current trends, more than half of all high-skill employment in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam could be filled by workers with insufficient qualifications by 2025.

In addition, skills gaps are a major driver of inequality and poverty in the region. Approximately 92 million ASEAN workers (roughly 30 percent of the region’s workforce) live on less than $2 per day.

Progress on freer mobility of skilled labor in ASEAN has been limited. Seven mutual-recognition arrangements have been concluded between 2005 and 2014, covering engineering services, nursing, architectural services, tourism, medical practitioners, dental practitioners, and accounting services, as well as a framework arrangement covering surveying.

Higher Education

To coherently standardize the competitiveness of skilled labor in ASEAN Region, There are notable developments in promoting deeper intra-ASEAN social and cultural understanding. The ASEAN Curriculum Sourcebook (for primary and secondary schools) was developed in 2012, and ASEAN is now working on ways to promote utilisation of the Sourcebook, in addition to the existing supplementary materials on ASEAN studies in schools.

To enhance regional co-operation in education, ASEAN education ministers have agreed four priorities for education: (1) Promoting ASEAN awareness among ASEAN citizens, particularly youth; (2) Strengthening ASEAN identity through education; (3) Building ASEAN human resources in the field of education; and (4) Strengthening the ASEAN University Network.


The ASEAN University Network, or AUN, is an arrangement between 30 universities in the ten ASEAN countries. The AUN is composed of a Board of Trustees, or B.O.T, the participating universities, and the AUN Secretariat. The BOT has the task of formulating policies, approving project proposals, the allocation of budgets and coordinating implementation activities. 

The participating universities have the task of implementing the AUN programs and activities. When AUN was founded in 1995, it consisted of thirteen universities from seven countries. Due to the inclusion of Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia in ASEAN, the network grew to 21 members. Non members from the region however, are invited as observers on a regular basis. 

The AUN Secretariat is involved in the planning, organization, monitoring and evaluation of AUN activities and also in the development of new ideas and the acquisition of funding. The permanent office of the Secretariat was established in 2000 and is located on the campus of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

There are opportunities for Romanian/EU/International students to participate in scholarship programs provided by ASEAN member states:

For Indonesia, the government provides two programs, namely, non-degree scholarship with the program of Darmasiswa (1 year) and BSBI (3 months), aimed mainly to Indonesian culture and language programs. The other programs is Master’s degree and Bachelor degree through Kemitraan Negara Berkembang, or Developing Countries Partnership scholarship.

Malaysia also provides the program of Malaysian International Scholarship for post-graduate and post-doctoral studies. Further information provided on the website as shown on the slide.

For EU students or University, there are Universities in Thailand linked to the Erasmus Program.

And the government of Viet Nam has signed the bilateral agreement with Romania to provide Scholarship for Bachelor, Masters and PhD program for 20 students every year.

The role of Youth

The ASEAN Youth Forum, or AYF, is envisioned to be a free and empowering platform for youths to voice out their concerns and strategize for ways to achieve a better ASEAN. AYF has been working regionally to strengthening youth movement, engagement with ASEAN, and civil society.  

Throughout empowerment and engagement towards a youth-driven Southeast Asia approach, AYF provided space for young leaders to discuss issues, dialogue with various stakeholders and define their destinies with respect to their issues and realities.

The role of Youth in Entrepreneurial

Several initiatives have been put forth by the member-states to actively involve youths in the formation of ASEAN Community with discussions made on matters that impact the people whilst affording them with platforms to cooperate on a multitude of issues that pertain to the region or the wider community. 

ASEAN Youth Entrepreneur Seminar and Expo, which provides a platform to enhance and support economic self-reliance and self-employment of the ASEAN youths. Aside from achieving economic objectives, summits such as the ASEAN+ Young Leaders Summit (AYLS) aim to bring together youths from various member countries to participate and lead in dialogues that advocate regional integration and cohesiveness on various levels.

The importance to enhance the Youth role in ASEAN to develop a cohesive and competitiveness in order to further materialized the One Vision, One Community and to assume One Identity.