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Thailand Emphasizes Preparations for the ASEAN Community

October 15, 2013 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has stressed the need to strengthen ASEAN in order to cope with rapid global changes and in order to ensure preparation for the ASEAN Community 2015.
The Prime Minister and other leaders of ASEAN countries discussed the ASEAN Community’s post-2015 vision and wide-ranging cooperation in the political-security, economic, and socio-cultural spheres, at the two-day 23rd ASEAN Summit and related meetings, which kicked off on 9 October 2013 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.

Prime Minister Yingluck urged ASEAN members to improve ASEAN-led mechanisms and closely coordinate in major issues, including migration, food and energy security, climate change, and disasters. Concerning ASEAN integration, she called on ASEAN to accelerate the tackling of development gaps in the region and prioritize enhancing connectivity. Enhanced connectivity would boost community building, border security, and collective prosperity. She said that the establishment of a joint economic and industrial zone would help promote economic and people-to-people connectivity between neighboring countries.

The Prime Minister stated that the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision should be in line with the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda and that ASEAN must ensure its growth on the basis of sustainable development. She said that ASEAN must become more united to better meet global challenges. It must speak with one voice in international forums, as well.

In addition, the Prime Minister urged ASEAN to develop connectivity between ASEAN and other countries in the Pacific, while promoting relations with other regions, such as Africa and Latin America.

According to the ASEAN Secretariat, for 2014, ASEAN will remain focused on expediting the implementation of the remaining 2015 targets and ensuring greater convergence of the three community pillars, namely the ASEAN Political-Security Community, the ASEAN Economic Community, and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. By 2015 and beyond, ASEAN aims to ensure not only the continuity and sustainability of the existing momentum, but also to set the foundation for such concerted progress in a more challenging environment, with enhanced external interest and engagement in the region, and in much larger East Asian and Asia Pacific contexts.

In her meeting at the 16th ASEAN-China Summit, Prime Minister Yingluck called for the use of the ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership as a driving force for prosperity between the two regions. She said that ASEAN agreed with China’s initiative to upgrade the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area, which would increase trade and reduce various obstacles between ASEAN and China.

She also said that ASEAN proposed that mutual connectivity be an urgent issue under the ASEAN-China cooperation framework.

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