update april 23 I guess myanmar seemed the sleepiest of the asean countries to its membership unti recently- now its a test- wha't's the purpose of asean if it can't even get myanmar (one o0f its smalest economies0 to value the asean way - this at a time when china and usa are wooing the whole region - asean can affrd false steps as china is far its largest trading partner
and of course asean is many things the first 2 countries in asia i visited in 1982 (start of 60 asian work epxpereibces) were indoensia tahnks to unilevever and singapire - i love them bot a slow rising giant and teh fastest development of any 6 million people - I also love hong kong and sort of wish it had been eligible to be in asean - nb in what follows brunei is an outlier rich for its people while cartbon rules the world Brunei is a small country with a population of around 460,000 and a land area of only around 5,700 square kilometers. However, it is one of the richest countries in the world on a per capita basis due to its significant oil and gas resources.
whats the ups and downs of the other asean countries
my dad (The Economist's Norman Macrae) served as teen navigator in allied bomber command stationed in burma as myanmar was then called; from the air 50 years ahead of other journalists and policy makers his mind was imprinted with google maps of the great bay of bengal to the west asean down to singapote to south east- continental china over which his then enemy japan might engage to north east; why is it in 2021 the country once beloved or orwell and kipling could make life so miserable for peoples; (in air force out of myanmar you got 6 dangerous hours in air followed by 24 hours down time where my father had 3 books to read 2 by adam smith and one by keynes -it was this ideology of celebaring human employement he used to turn the economist into a thrird ranked weekly into a one of a kind global)
dad married the daughter of sir kenneth kemps; 4 generations of kemps had been scottish pharmacists in bombay until sir keen studied law, became chief justiced; dialogued with Gandhi for 20 yeras before writing up legalese of india's independence; I am not saying this to boast- simply dad knew asia as much as he knew europe form being home schooled for most of his youth in places like british embassy in stalin's moscow -stalin and hitler were the 2 mademn humans needed to outlast; the first 180 yeras of applying smith and watts machines out of glasgow had gone disatrously wrong as it represented the intersts of 7 white empires (less than 15% of huamns and within that extremely few really powerful white men) we have had our second last best chnace mediating united natuons from 1945 now in 2021 we find ousrelves at last best chnace
one of the problems all over asia is how the british exited - absolutley every country needed independence but teh systems needed chnaging not just a top down handover to miltarries or bureaucratics
you can see my father's survey in the economist of which asian countries rise/fall from 1962- as keenedy agreed in 1962 there were 2 asia rising models 1005 village employmemt/microentreprenurship and hi-tech suprcities designing win-win sme supply chains which japan's keiretsu and korea's chaebol facilitated along with taiwan gutsy traders- there's never been a greater trading mindest than the chinese (fiaspora) frred from eg britain's insistence of opium as a currency or freed from staliesque communism; by 1972 the diaspora chinese were the 3ed most sustaible bankers to global trade after isa and japan- as permy fathere 1977 economist survey- imagine heaven r hell which now depends on one fifth of all humans - chinese mainland race to educate their one child generation and end poverty; the greatest economic miracle studies what china did between 1972 and 2010- part 2 of that miracle need us-china to lead sdgoalsgeneration -dont you think?