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Fifty Years On, Southeast Asia Emerges as Global Growth Leader

  • 10-member Asean celebrates 50th anniversary in August
  • Philippines, Vietnam among world’s fastest growing economies
Two men look out at residential and commercial buildings in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017. Vietnam's economy expanded more than 6 percent for a second year in 2016, defying a regional slowdown to remain one of the world's best performers as retails sales rose 10.2 percent.
Photographer: Linh Luong Thai/Bloomberg

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has much to crow about as it marks its 50th anniversary: economic and social progress, a manufacturing powerhouse and relative political stability.

The 10 Asean members boast of some of the world’s fastest expanding economies like the Philippines and Vietnam, with growth rates of more than 6 percent. With a combined population of over 620 million and an economy of $2.6 trillion, the investment potential is huge and by 2020, the region will have the world’s fifth largest economy, the World Economic Forum predicts.