To the south, Kandy and the hills of the Tea Country are expecting rainfall below their monthly average After all, most of the AEM are trade and industry ministers who are only partly responsible for macroeconomic policies, unlike their colleagues in the finance portfolio who have a much greater say. Those far away powers can have their own opinions and political agendas. It is still far from what it can and should be. On the contrary, the impetus from joining ASEAN has created in each of the new members additional dynamics to push forward domestic economic reforms, adjust government regulations and harmonize them to be in line with the existing commitments under the various ASEAN agreements. The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Laos, for example, took nearly four months off his hectic schedule to undergo intensive English language training in New Zealand last year. The last year has seen sharp turns in the relationships between North Korea and its neighbors.
The enlargement has, however, no significant direct effect on influencing the pace of cooperation activities in ASEAN.
ASEAN-10: Meeting the Challenges, by Termsak Chalermpalanupap
Actually in recent years, ASEAN has been moving forward faster and initiating new cooperation activities since the early s. The admission of Myanmar undermined their attempt at isolating Myanmar. Gradually, ASEAN increased its activities in functional cooperation areas science and technology, culture and information, social development etc. In addition to the political diversity, there are also differences in the level of economic development, religions, historical background and languages, among others. When a growing number of members agree that some appropriate action is called for, then the few others who are reluctant to follow suit would likely relent under peer pressure. As its members became more developed economically in the s, they also became more willing to engage in more meaningful economic cooperation.