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Asia's pragmatic integration

Leaders will continue to boost cooperation in support of economic growth and people's welfare.

A ferry carrying Cambodians across the Mekong river as it travels in front of a hotel construction site in Phnom Penh. Asean has set 2015 as the target to create a single economic market across the 10-nation bloc of about 600 million people.

FIFTY years ago, when European integration was gathering steam, most of Asia remained mired in poverty. As countries in the region gained independence, national rather than regional identity was paramount. So was getting food on the table.

Today, Europe is well-integrated, its eurozone