Ability to address internal problems positive for ASEAN's cooperation

20:18, April 19, 2010      

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The Association of Southeast Asia Nation's ability to address its internal problems will have positive impact for the bloc's cooperation, officials said in Jakarta recently.

Teuku Faizasyah, the Foreign Ministry's spokesperson said that economic integration in ASEAN is growing strongly, creating a stronger interdependence which in turn preventing conflict.

Faizasyah said that stronger cooperation will create a connectivity that will support economic progress, promoting the achievement of ASEAN Community by 2015.

Meanwhile, the ASEAN's Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan highlighted ASEAN Connectivity as an important dimension of ASEAN economic integration, which could contribute to the Comprehensive Asia Development Plan (CADP).

In his statement, Surin stressed that better connectivity in ASEAN and beyond will increase its competitiveness and enhance the attractiveness of the bloc, not only increasing foreign direct investment (FDI) destination but also encouraging better integration of production and innovation networks in the region.

Surin cited the crucial role of public-private partnership in mobilizing resources to implement the ASEAN Connectivity initiative and the CADP.

To achieve the ASEAN Community, ASEAN members must show their seriousness, he said.

ASEAN nations have three pillars consisting of ASEAN Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community that should be upheld in realizing the community.

"However, it seems that economic pillar move faster than others," he said.

Faizasyah said that Indonesia commits to make the other three pillars to go at the same speed as economy.

"We must put combat against terrorism and transnational crime as our priorities too," he said.

He added that ASEAN countries are optimistic in achieving the ASEAN Community.

"We already have infrastructures. We have FTAs since 1999s. Governments only provide direction and guidelines for the goal," he said.

However, ASEAN must realize other steps in promoting the goal.

Surin underscored the importance for ASEAN to implement ASEAN transport and cross border agreements expeditiously, which involve translating these regional commitments into domestic laws and regulations if ASEAN economies were to efficiently move products to their final markets.

The CADP is an initiative intended to provide a coherent master plan of economic infrastructure and industrial placement in East Asia, including ASEAN, to deepen regional integration, stimulate economic growth and narrowing the development gap.

The master plan is expected to be considered by the East Asia Summit in October 2010.

Source: Xinhua


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