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Leaders of ASEAN Declare the Establishment of a Formal Community
   2015-11-22 19:45:52    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Li Jianhua
The Southeast Asian nations, meeting in Kuala Lumpur, have signed an agreement to establish by December 31 a formal community aimed at creating freer movement of trade and capital.

CRI's Li Jianhua has more.

 

The establishment of the ASEAN Community will create a free trade and investment environment in an area of 625 million people with a combined economic output of 2.6 trillion USD.

Despite the different backgrounds of the ten ASEAN member states -- a region with governments ranging from communist in Vietnam and quasi-military in Myanmar to the kingdom of Brunei and the boisterous democracy of the Philippines ĘC the economic community offers the most concrete opportunities for integration in a region whose combined gross domestic product makes it the world's seventh-largest economy.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says the establishment of the ASEAN Community will make their manufacturing industry more competitive in the global market and reduce cost for every member state.

"We now have to ensure that we create a truly single market and production base with freer movements of goods and services with common standards, far greater connectivity, and removal of the barriers that make our borders a hindrance to growth and investment."

In addition, they have also agreed to enhance the connectivity of their transportation infrastructure and communications, better facilitate electronic transactions, integrate industries to promote regional sourcing, and enhance private-sector involvement in the economy.

Najib Razak expressed his confidence in the overall development of the ASEAN Community, quoting a forecast that ASEAN has the potential of being the 4th largest economy in the world by early 2030.

Also he believes the building of the ASEAN Community will contribute to the peaceful development of the region.

"Forging ahead together and our task remains the same: to echo the conclusion of the Bangkok declaration - it is to bind ourselves further together in friendship and co-operation, and through joint efforts and sacrifices, secure for our peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity. The ASEAN Community is a landmark achievement on the way to reaching those goals."

The formal establishment of the community will also allow eight groups of professionals to work more easily throughout the region, including engineers, architects, nurses, doctors, dentists, accountants, surveyors and tourism professionals.

ASEAN was established nearly 50-years ago as a political grouping of ten Southeast Asian nations. It's since developed into a regional economic and trading power, and has been looking to expand its role in Asian affairs through the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community.

For CRI, this is Li Jianhua.
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