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POTUS Walks ASEAN’s Mean Streets

President Obama meets tomorrow on Bali, Indonesia with the heads of state from ASEAN — the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

ASEAN hasn’t been effective in spreading free trade and investment across the region. A big obstacle is corruption. Although the group includes Singapore, ranked as the least corrupt country in the world on the CPI, it also includes some of the planet’s most corrupt nations.

Even with Singapore, the average CPI rank for ASEAN’s ten members is 101, dragged down by Cambodia (154), Laos (154), and Myanmar (176), which managed to beat only Somalia. 

On the President’s agenda in Bali will be ‘improving economic integration and addressing security challenges in the region.’ Both start with fighting corruption.

Here are the ASEAN countries in order of their CPI ranking:

Singapore (1)

Brunei  (38)

Malaysia (56)

Thailand (78)

Indonesia (110)

Vietnam (116)

Philippines (134)

Cambodia (154)

Laos (154)

Myanmar (176)

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