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Singapore contributes $20 mln for ASEAN integration
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21:44, November 20, 2007

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Singapore has pledged a further contribution of 30 million Singapore dollars (20.69 million U.S. dollars) in technical assistance programs to the Initiative for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Integration (IAI), Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in Singaporre Tuesday.

He made the announcement during the 13th ASEAN summit held in Shangri-La hotel, according to a press statement from Singapore's Foreign Ministry.

The IAI was launched by Singapore's then prime minister Goh Chok Tong at the 4th ASEAN informal summit in 2000 with the objective of narrowing the development gap in ASEAN, especially with the newer members of Combodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV).

Singapore has earlier committed 88.44 million Singapore dollars(61 million U.S. dollars) worth of technical assistance package in two separate trenches to the IAI, stretching from 2001 to 2008.

Since the launch of the IAI in 2001, more than 18,000 participants from CLMV have attended various courses and workshops or took part in study visits organized by the Singapore Cooperation Program established in 1992.

The IAI has become the focus of ASEAN integration, the statement said.

Singapore plans to use the additional contributions to further enhance the human resource capacity of CLMV, which would in turn promote integration and solidarity among ASEAN members. Through these efforts, Singapore hopes to support the larger regional goal of achieving an ASEAN Community in 2015, said the statement.

Heads of state or government of the 10 member countries of ASEAN gathered here Tuesday for the regional grouping's 13th summit, and signed the ASEAN Charter and other documents.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Source:Xinhua



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