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At 50, ASEAN is reaping the rewards of economic integration

Falling trade barriers are boosting growth and changing how the bloc does business

BANGKOK The Association of Southeast Asian Nations marks its 50th anniversary on Aug. 8. Over the decades, its purpose has shifted from fighting communism to fostering economic cooperation. ASEAN's rules and infrastructure facilitate trade and help companies widen their value chains. We look at the latest developments in "ASEAN-style management" to understand the dynamism of the region and its challenges.

At Toyota Alabang, a Toyota Motor dealership in the suburbs of Manila, Neil Ramos sizes up the models on offer. Ramos, a local restaurant owner, is thinking about buying a new car to drive his 7-year-old daughter to and from school. His first choice is likely to be the Fortuner, an SUV that Toyota developed for emerging economies. It sells for around 1.5 million pesos (about $30,000), a reasonable price for someone in the Philippines' upper-middle class.

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