FACT: Our region is too diverse -- But should we let it stop us to unite? Should it stop us exchange ideas for our own good? Should we go far and westward to literally “beg” them to come and help our economies instead of helping each other out? We have a combined GDP of $900 billion and $2.8 trillion purchasing power parity. We are relatively rich!
FACT: Our region is of world importance – Aside from the points mentioned above, our region is closely monitored and befriended by the world’s “alleged” super countries – there’s ASEAN + 3 which includes Japan, Korea and China, the ASEAN-Russia, the ARF, the East Asia Summit. All of them acknowledges the fact, that we are a region with a future.
FACT: We are connected with each other – when the Thai economy collapsed in 1997, who fell next? When Vietnam was devastated with SARS and Bird Flu, who fell sick next? When Indonesia shakes an earthquake, where did the tsunami hit? When our ancestors are still trying to figure out how to plant rice, the Philippines came to the rescue. When the Burmese and the Viets fled their country, who welcomed them with open arms? When Laos asked for investment assistance, who came out to help?
We are 568 million strong. We are China’s “lady in waiting”. We are America’s brain contributors by pirating our professionals. We are the work force of the Middle East. We control the rice production of the world. We clean the world's households by producing coconut oil, we control this industry – what will happen to the world without soap?
We are a threat to India, Venezuela and Puerto Rico in any beauty pageant! For christssake!
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-- Pisanu for B I S E A N