ASEAN Looks West: ASEAN and the Gulf Region is the first major study analyzing the relationship between ASEAN and the Gulf region. A newly formed international team of eleven scholars and experts from seven different countries under the umbrella of the Thai-registered nonprofit organization Human Development Forum Foundation provides some interesting insights in security and economic developments on both sides of the newly introduced Southern Asian Maritime Corridor (SAMCO) stretching from Qatar to the Philippines.
This concept is presented to the international academic community as well as policy makers to shed some light on this new corridor, and fill the knowledge gap in ASEAN about the Gulf region and vice versa. What are the major challenges and opportunities for the ASEAN Community and the Gulf region? The scholar team answers these questions by extensively analyzing the strategic framework from an ASEAN perspective, highlighting the three-pillar strategy of the ASEAN Community, and then addressing two major security issues: the maritime component and religious fanaticism. The last chapter copes with energy security and economic opportunities, covering pipeline and nuclear issues as well as some possibilities for cooperation between specific countries. The result of this endeavor by scholars (Iran, Iraq, India, Indonesia, Germany, Pakistan, and Afghanistan) is an essential book for anyone examining security and maritime issues in the Southern Asian Maritime Corridor (SAMCO) as well as for the interested layperson.