Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Asean economic ministers focus on development

Wednesday, 29 August 2012 14:06 Mizzima News

Pointing out the need to stay focused and to keep faith with open markets, Deputy Secretary-General Lim Hong Hin from the ASEAN Economic Pillar, cautioned against the emergence of protectionism, at the opening of the Asean Economic Ministers meeting in Cambodia this week.

“As of 2011, Asean’s intra-trade had accounted for a quarter of our total trade. If you add our trade with key partners like China, Japan, the EU and the US, you are looking at a very important cornerstone of our healthy economic growth,” Lim said. “That growth has helped to raise the living standards of many of our peoples, but there are many more who are waiting for their turn to enjoy the fruits of economic development. We cannot afford to fail them.”

Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan, left, and Deputy Secretary-General Lim Hong Hin, right. Photo: Asean

The weeklong meetings will bring together the economic ministers of the 10 Asean member states of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The ministers will hold dialogue with partners like China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, the United States, Canada and Russia.

In an earlier interview with the Phnom Penh Post, Cambodia's Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, HE Cham Prasidh, said that Asean host Cambodia will push forward with plans to reduce the development gap among Asean member states during Cambodia’s chairmanship of Asean this year.

Narrowing the development gap is one of the main objectives of the Asean Economic Community. Earlier efforts by the grouping, combined with the positive investment climate in Asia, had helped boost Southeast Asia as one of the fastest growing areas in the world. This in turn has raised optimism in turning Asean into a single market and a single manufacturing base.

Leave a Reply