ASEAN head pushes leaders to build region of creativity The secretary general of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2011 urged leaders of the 10-member bloc to move from vision to action, saying they must promote a region of creativity to stay competitive. Except for Singapore, the rest of the ASEAN countries are consumers rather than creators of intellectual properties,’ Surin Pitsuwan said.

ASEAN leaders, therefore, must build a political and economic infrastructure supporting creativity and innovation, he said at the seminar in Singapore. ‘ASEAN needs to catch up,’ Surin said, adding that Japan, South Korea, India and China set good examples of innovative countries with a high output of patents. He said ASEAN, which has a combined population of about 600 million people, needed ‘more substance’ rather than vision and expectations