Asean chief warns 2015 single market goal in peril | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 01, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 01, 2010

International Business News

Asean chief warns 2015 single market goal in peril

Asean chief Surin Pitsuwan Tuesday urged member states to step up intra-regional trade, saying it was "difficult" otherwise to see the bloc reaching its goal of economic integration by 2015.
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has set 2015 as the target for creating a single regional economic market known as the Asean Economic Community.
Speaking at a one-day Asean finance ministers' meeting in the Malaysian capital, Surin said trading among member states presently accounted for only 25 percent of their total trade. Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
"Unless and until Asean business communities make that fateful decision to cross borders into each other, it is difficult for me to see we will have an economic community by the year 2015," he told the meeting.
"We need to increase our investments in each others' economies, so it becomes sustainable and competitive," said the Asean secretary-general. "Here is the market, let's make it work."

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