ASEAN Community -a Historical Moment!

The ASEAN Community (AC) will come into being on 31st December, 2015 a landmark achievement for the 48-year-old regional association whose member countries have wide diverse social, economic and political backgrounds.

The community will be larger in terms of population than the European Union or North America, and could rival India and China in the years to come. The 10 Asean leaders inked the historic declaration yesterday that entails greater integration of the region of over 600 million people.

The regional community is a monumental effort by every regional member country to bring their nations closer through greater economic integration and social uplift, while ensuring the region remains secure and stable.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the idea of a community started in Bali 12 years ago, followed by blueprints and action plans.

“And today, on behalf of Asean member states represented at the 27th Asean Summit here in Kuala Lumpur, it is my solemn duty and privilege as the chair of Asean 2015 to pronounce the establishment of the Asean Community on December 31,” he said at the signing of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the Asean Community.

At the event, Malaysia and the leaders of the nine other Asean nations – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam – also signed the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on Asean 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

Six of the grouping’s eight dialogue partners – Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and Russia – as well as United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon were present.

The AC comprises three core pillars, namely the Asean Political Security Community (APSC), Asean Economic Community (AEC) and Asean Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC).

Najib said Asean would now have to ensure that a truly single market and production base was created with more free movement of goods and services, as this – having common product standards, greater connectivity and removal of trade barriers – would be one that was primed to expand.

“As it is, our combined GDP is expected to reach US$4.7 trillion (RM20 trillion) by 2020. According to one forecast, Asean has the potential to be the fourth largest economy in the world as early as 2030, which is only 15 years from now."

The AC goes beyond economy, said Najib, pointing out that it is also about recognising the special ties that bind the people and “making our citizens feel that Asean courses through their veins.”

“Our Asean Way has guided us and will continue to be our compass as we seek to realise a politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and a truly people-oriented and rules-based Asean,” he said.

“It is important that we list down some low-hanging fruits that can be delivered every year until we reach 2025, which is at the end of the 10-year blueprint under the Asean Community,” he said.

/theSTAR 23-11-2015

Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed are solely those of the Author and should be used with discretion. The Author shall not be held liable for any acts or omissions arising from the use of the information. The user will be personally liable for any damages or other liability arising hereof.

Post a Comment