New Zealand has long been ambivalent about the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – unsure if it should work with the organisation as a whole or give priority to bilateral relations with members.
New Zealand is seeking a more meaningful role in Asia-Pacific regional affairs, and its participation in ASEAN is usually welcome. However, New Zealand needs ASEAN much more than ASEAN needs New Zealand. To integrate more closely, New Zealand needs to help ASEAN to achieve its vision, contribute more to the “learning together” nature of capability-building in ASEAN societies, and learn how to adapt to a world increasingly characterised by trade in tasks rather than trade in goods and services.
Author: Gary Hawke