World Bulletin / News Desk
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Monday that this year will be a milestone in the history of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ( ASEAN) as the vision of creating an ASEAN community will be realized by the end of December.
In his opening address at the 26th ASEAN summit, Najib said it was the member countries' duty to formulate a successor document to the Roadmap to Establish the ASEAN Community this year, which would provide the basis for how the 10-member bloc further strengthen its unity and deepen its integration over the next ten years.
As a political and economic organization, ASEAN was playing an increasingly important role both regionally and globally, he said, adding that the inaugural "ASEAN People's Awards" would be held at the next ASEAN summit later this year to celebrate the exceptional achievements of those who are honored.
Najib said that ASEAN should become more politically cohesive, and the adoption of a common time zone throughout ASEAN has been proposed. "This would be a good symbol of ASEAN unity, and good for business," he said.
According to the Xinhuanet news, the prime minister, ASEAN is now the fourth largest exporting bloc globally, with its international trade having tripled in the last decade. "The OECD predicts overall annual growth of 5.6 percent over the next four years, and if current trends continue, ASEAN is set to be the world's fourth largest economy by 2050," he said.
Najib stressed ASEAN must continue with the measures to establish the ASEAN Economic Community, and remove barriers to trade, which would explore the potential of the ASEAN and bring about astonishing improvements to their economies and the livelihood of their people.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.Güncelleme Tarihi: 27 Nisan 2015, 11:43