Speaking to some 350 guests at the Straits Times Global Outlook Forum event at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia hotel, Dr Balakrishnan urged ASEAN to stay united in the face of global challenges. He stressed that Singapore is a “staunch believer” in the need for ASEAN integration. “If we can maintain ASEAN as a neutral, open and inclusive platform, to engage and cooperate with the other big players, then we are in the game. We will have bright prospects,” he said. He added that the benefits of achieving the vision of a united ASEAN will go beyond just economics.