Latest ASEAN statistics show the progress of ASEAN’s integrative efforts towards "One Vision, One Identity, One Community" by 2015, according to a report launched on September 17 by the ASEAN Secretariat.

Real per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with differences in purchasing power parity taken into account, had virtually doubled to 5,581 USD in 2011 from 2,882 USD in 2000, says the 2012 ASEAN Community Progress Monitoring System (ACPMS) Report.

Growth is strong in both country groups – the ASEAN6 (Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) and CLMV (Cambodia, Lao, Myanmar and Vietnam). The CLMV countries posted robust growth, narrowing the gap with the ASEAN6. Comparing the ASEAN6 and their CLMV brothers, the growth of per capita GDP was only 2.6 in 2011 while it was 3.4 in 2000.

ASEAN trade in goods among its member states more than doubled to 598.2 billion USD in 2011 from 260.9 billion USD in 2004. For the same period, extra-ASEAN trade grew to 914.8 billion USD from 428.1 billion USD. The gap between ASEAN6 and CLMV countries has been narrowed.

Trade in services increased rapidly in communications, computer and information services; travel services; and business services, royalties and licenses. Trade in transport services has recovered from a substantial decline in 2008 caused by the global financial crisis. ASEAN’s deficit on trade in services contracted by 37percent from around 22 billion USD in 2005 to less than 9 billion USD in 2011.

ASEAN has become a popular FDI destination. Inward flow of foreign direct investment (FDI) to ASEAN has recorded an increase of more than fourfold - from 21.81 billion USD in 2000 to 114.08 billion USD in 2011 - with Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia leading the member states. Intra-ASEAN FDI inflow has increased from 3.9 percent to 23 percent during the same period.

Living conditions in the ASEAN has improved. The proportion of population living on less than 1.25 USD a day (in purchasing power parity terms) in ASEAN has declined between 2000 and 2010, from around 45 percent to 16 percent in CLMV countries and from about 29 percent to 15 percent in the ASEAN6.

The ASEAN region showed progress in terms of the United Nation’s broader Human Development Index (HDI), which rose from 0.635 in 2005 to 0.657 in 2010 as the CLMV countries almost leveled up to the ASEAN6, nearly closing the gap - down from 25 percent to 23 percent.

The ACPMS Report also carries cross-pillar indicators, which reflect favourable developments in the economic and socio-cultural areas indicating the convergence of markets and improved trends of poverty incidence and overall human development.

The document was prepared in the framework of the project "Capacity Building for the ASEAN Secretariat", jointly agreed upon and implemented by the ASEAN Secretariat and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and funded by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany.-VNA