Socio Cultural Diversity and Economic Development: Policy Implications for Southeast Asian Integration

Socio Cultural Diversity and Economic Development: Policy Implications for Southeast Asian Integration

Balbir Bhasin

College of Business – BII 200C,
University of Arkansas Fort Smith, USA
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Lee Keng Ng

College of Business – BII 200A,
University of Arkansas Fort Smith, USA
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James Beard

College of Business – BII 204B,
University of Arkansas Fort Smith, USA
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Cliff Scott

College of Business – BII 207A,
University of Arkansas Fort Smith, USA
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Abstract

The ten countries of Southeast Asia have very diverse cultures, ranging from differences in language, religion, history, geography, political structure, social framework, and world view. How do these differences affect the ASEAN countries’ efforts at economic development, modernization, and regional integration? As they move towards unifying as an ASEAN Economic Community, this paper endeavors to assess options to meeting the challenges posed by socio-cultural integration. These include creating a common identity, individual and institutional empowerment, learning a common language, cultural education, and civic capacity building, and learning from the EU experience.
Keywords: Southeast Asian studies, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), ASEAN, Economic Community (AEC), culture and economic development, cross cultural relations, international business
JEL codes: L50, L51, L9


 

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