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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been a positive and increasingly potent force behind recent economic integration in the Asia Pacific region. Taiwan has enjoyed longstanding close ties with ASEAN countries such as Singapore, the Phillippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, with bilateral cooperation covering trade, investment, culture and education. The creation and success of ASEAN alerted many in Taiwan to a pressing need to integrate the knowledge and resources of domestic scholars, research institutes and think tanks in order to enhance our understanding of Southeast Asia's economies and cultures and, ultimately, to consider strategies to achieve further participation and cooperation of Taiwan in advantageous regional economic partnerships.

It was in this spirit that the Chung-Hua Institution for Economic Research (CIER) planned and developed the Taiwan ASEAN Studies Center (TASC). The Center opened its doors on October 1st, 2009 and held its official opening on December 16th. TASC will serve as a primary platform for research and cooperative exchanges in the realms of Southeast Asia research, regional studies, international affairs, development issues, and non-traditional security. The Center will also work actively to promote positive exchange between Taiwan and research institutes in East and Southeast Asia. Ultimately, the goal of the TASC is to enhance exchange, interaction and mutual understanding between Taiwan and ASEAN countries in order to develop and expand cooperation in myriad areas.

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