Association of Southeast Asian Nations

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations,[3] commonly abbreviated ASEAN (generally pronounced /ˈɑːsi.ɑːn/ AH-see-ahn,[4] occasionally /ˈɑːzi.ɑːn/ AH-zee-ahn[5] in English, the official language of the bloc),[6] is a geo-political and economic organization of 10 countries located in Southeast Asia, which was formed on 8 August 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.[7] Since then, membership has expanded to include Brunei, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. Its aims include the acceleration of economic growth, social progress, cultural development among its members, the protection of the peace and stability of the region, and to provide opportunities for member countries to discuss differences peacefully.[8]

ASEAN spans over an area of 4.46 million km2, 3% of the total land area of Earth, with a population of approximately 600 million people, 8.8% of the world population. In 2010, its combined nominal GDP had grown to USD $1.8 trillion.[9] If ASEAN were a single country, it would rank as the 9th largest economy in the world and the 3rd largest in Asia in terms of nominal GDP.

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