[EXCLUSIVE] The Asean Studies Centre at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore has published the survey report on the State of Southeast Asia: 2020.
ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute is an autonomous organisation established in 1968. It is a regional centre dedicated to the study of socio-political, security and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment.
For the second year running, the Asean Studies Centre at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute conducted the State of Southeast Asia survey from November 12 to December 1, 2019 with a total of 1,308 respondents from ten Asean member states
The following are some of the highlights of the survey:
1. Domestic political instability, economic downturn and climate change are the most pressing concerns in the region.
2. Regional countries are concerned about major power competition and the fear that some members may become proxies of a major power.
3. A third of respondents believe Asean should continue with its position of "not taking sides"in the US-China rivalry to fend of pressure from the powers.
4. Over half of the respondents will go for the US if they are forced to choose between the two major powers. However, countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia favour China over the US.
5. China is seen as the most influential economic and political-strategic power in the region, outpacing the US by a significant margin.
6. The region's confidence in the US as strategic partner and provider of regional security is low.
7. Japan is the most trusted power in the region, followed by the EU, US and China.
8. Japan also shines in terms of education, tourism and language.
9. The EU is viewed favourably by Southeast Asian nations.
10. Most respondents believe the US-China trade war bodes ill for the global economy.
11. More than half of the respondents believe that RCEP membership should be expanded to "all qualified parties" in future.
12. Samsung is the most preferred telecommunications provider to build the region's 5G networks. Chinese companies are nevertheless preferred in countries like Malaysia and Cambodia.
Download the full report: TheStateofSEASurveyReport_2020.pdf