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Old ASEAN members pledge support to narrow development gap


13:13, August 29, 2012

SIEM REAP, Cambodia, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The six old members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Tuesday pledged to support four new members in order to narrow the development gap, said Nam Viyaketh, Laos Minister of Industry and Commerce.

"The ASEAN six gave us--the new ASEAN member states: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam--the privilege for assistance in order to accelerate our economies and to narrow the gap between the six old ASEAN members and the four new ASEAN members," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting.

The six old ASEAN members include Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.

Addressing the opening session of the 44th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting on Monday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the development gap among ASEAN members remained huge and the bloc needed to double its efforts to promote further growth and improve equitable distribution of the fruits of growth at both national and regional levels.

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