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Its principal aims include accelerating economic growth, social progress, and sociocultural evolution among its members, alongside the protection of regional stability and the provision of a mechanism for member countries to resolve differences peacefully.Communication by members across nations takes place in English.
This law would act as the framework for the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA).
ASEAN's first summit meeting, held in Bali, Indonesia in 1976, resulted in an agreement on several industrial projects and the signing of a Treaty of Amity and Cooperation, and a Declaration of Concord.
The end of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union at the end of the 1980s allowed ASEAN countries to exercise greater political independence in the region, and in the 1990s ASEAN emerged as a leading voice on regional trade and security issues.
Member countries have a combined population of approximately 640 million people, 8.8% of the world's population, more than EU28, though in terms of land, a bit smaller.
In 2015, the organisation's combined nominal GDP had grown to more than USD .8 trillion.Cambodia was to have joined at the same time as Laos and Burma, but its entry was delayed due to the country's internal political struggle.