Close ↓
Performers attend the 10th East-Asia meeting during the 27th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre in Kuala Lumpur on November 22, 2015. Asia-Pacific leaders on November 22 wrap up a week of diplomacy on trade and security issues that has been jolted by revulsion over the recent jihadist attacks. AFP Photo
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (4-Left) and China Premier Li Keqiang (3-Left) chats as they stand for a group photo during the 18th ASEAN-CHINA Summit at the ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 21 November 2015. Malaysia is hosting the 27th ASEAN Summit, a meeting between ASEAN member countries and its three dialogue partners also a meeting of the East Asia Summit (EAS) forum aimed to strengthen political, cultural and discuss the solution of global economic. EPA/Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Sunday signed a landmark declaration creating an ASEAN Community. Key things to know about this diverse region, consisting of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

___

POPULATION : 630 million people, accounting for almost 9 percent of the world’s total population. The region is more populous than the European Union which has 500 million and North America with 444 million people. Largest member Indonesia has a population of 246 million, being the fourth populous country in the world. The smallest member, Brunei, has only 412,000 people.

___

GOVERNMENT : 10 member countries are governed by a variety of systems including elected democracies, monarchy, military junta, military-influenced civilian rule and Communist.

___

RELIGION : The region is home to a variety of ethnic groups, languages and religions. Indonesia, for example, is almost 90 percent Muslim, while the Philippines is more than 80 percent Roman Catholic, and Thailand is more than 95 percent Buddhist. Other religions include Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.

Among the 10 countries, summit host Malaysia is the most multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, comprising Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians and indigenous tribes.

___

TIME ZONES : The region is spread over four time zones. Four countries are 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, including Indonesia, some of whose eastern provinces are 8 and 9 hours ahead. Five countries are 8 hours ahead of GMT, while Myanmar is 6 hours and 30 minutes behind.

___

ECONOMY : If ASEAN were a single country, it would be the seventh-largest economy in the world with a combined GDP of US$2.4 trillion. It is projected to double to US$4.7 trillion by 2020, and would rank as the fourth-largest economy by 2050. Indonesia represents almost 40 percent of the region’s economic output while Myanmar is still a nascent market with poorly formed institutions.

The countries represent a range of economic development. The GDP of Singapore, one of the richest countries in the world, is more than 30 times higher than in Laos and more than 50 times higher than in Cambodia and Myanmar.

___

DRIVING : Five of the countries drive on the left side of the road and half on the other. In Myanmar, most cars are designed for driving on the left side, but traffic follows the European and American system.

--AP

Close ↓