ASEAN Move Forward >
As the second decade of the 21st century unfolds, the ASEAN region has gained increased significance to the
global economy and is setting in place the final measures to become the world’s newest economic
community. United Nations Secretary General H.E. Ban Ki-Moon remarked that “This is the moment of
ASEAN, now is the moment for ASEAN, to step in the global role.”
The 19th ASEAN Summit Meeting, held in Indonesia at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre, discussed
ASEAN community building by 2015, the year in which the ASEAN Economic Community enters into force,
and also addressed the wider role of ASEAN in regional and global issues.
The heads of state attending the summit meeting reaffirmed their commitment to accelerate the
implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community, ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN Socio-
Cultural Community. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra spoke of Thailand’s commitment to relief and rapid
recovery after the floods, and stressed the importance for ASEAN to enhance cooperation in management of
flood disasters and water resources. Subsequently, a Statement on Cooperation in Flood Prevention,
Mitigation, Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation, proposed by Thailand, was adopted.
The prime minister expressed Thailand’s support for ASEAN to play a proactive role in the global community,
pursuing a “forward strategy” to deal with global challenges more effectively. ASEAN should rely more on its
internal growth, strengthening its economic integration, while also enhancing its partnership with external
partners. In this connection, the prime minister expressed a similar view while meeting with ASEAN Business
Advisory Council (ABAC), including the need to strengthen the ASEAN business sector, particularly small and
medium enterprises (SMEs). And that it was also important to move forward on frameworks and principles
for ASEAN++ FTA with bilateral FTA dialogue partners.
The overall success of the ASEAN Summit and its related summits is reflected in the nine main achievements
of the leaders representing the 18 countries of ASEAN, and ASEAN dialogue partners in Bali, which are:
1. Concrete measures to strengthen the three pillars of ASEAN community;
2. Strengthening the regional economic growth;
3. To assume a pivotal role in building a more efficient and effective architecture for regional cooperation;
4. To maintain Southeast Asia regional stability and security;
5. Strengthening the role of ASEAN globally;
6. Joint efforts to strengthen the economy of East Asia (East region);
7. Joint efforts to develop platform and real action to address food, water, and energy security as well as
8. Joint efforts to address non-traditional security challenges: natural disasters, terrorism, transnational
9. Joint efforts to maintain peace, security and stability and order of East Asia region.
If it is true that the 21st century belongs to ASIA, then surely a more integrated and economically
coordinated ASEAN will be among the driving forces in the region. AEC, with its free trade regime, long
history and experience in operating a liberal economy open to investors, will be the gateway for investment
into this US$ one trillion plus market of 570 million people.
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