Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Asean economic ministers meeting underway

Tuesday, 28 August 2012 14:13 Mizzima News

The 44th Asean Economic Ministers Meeting and related meetings opened in Cambodia on Monday, with talks focused on the bloc's economic development and building an Asean Economic Community by 2015.

Burmese President Thein Sein and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Phnom Penh in March 2012. Photo: AFP

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who is hosting the meeting, said that Asean economies grew by 4.7 per cent last year despite poor economic conditions, higher oil prices and volatile global capital flows.

The bloc continued to post a trade surplus of US$ 98.5 billion in 2011, he said. Export value amounted to $1.24 trillion while import reached $1.15 trillion.

“Nevertheless, Asean still continues to face challenges, both globally and regionally, such as the fragility of the economic recovery of developed countries, coupled with prolonged severe debt crisis in Europe and ongoing social and political turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa,” he said. “The bloc is also facing with high oil price, food and energy security, climate change, natural disasters, terrorism and transnational crime.”

The premier noted that the development gap among Asean members is still huge.

The meeting includes Asean dialogue partners from China, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, India, the United States, Canada and Russia.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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