SINGAPORE (June 26): If there was ever a time for Asean to prove its mettle as a regional trade and investment reformer, it is now. 

Responding to the Covid-19 human health crisis has required countries to forge their own path: closing borders, retaining emergency supplies, and seeking infrastructure stability. But as Southeast Asia begins to reopen, member countries cannot approach economic recovery in isolation. 

The reason is simple: Southeast Asia is always stronger when it acts as a collective, as a region, rather than the sum of its parts. 

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