At a ministerial meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
(APEC) forum, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh highlighted the
bloc’s achievements and its determination to build the ASEAN Community.
Minh, who represents ASEAN at APEC’s two-day meeting
(April 20-21) of Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) in Surabaya,
Indonesia, repeated the regional leaders’ commitment to fulfill the
building of the community by 2015.
One of the
activities showing ASEAN’s efforts was the initiation of negotiations on
a Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) between 10 ASEAN
members and their six FTA partners including Australia, China,
India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, Minh
Under the action programme “Our people – Our
future”, ASEAN is prioritising the establishment of mechanisms
supporting the development of small- and medium-size enterprises in the
region, he added.
According to the secretary
general, the region has completed 77.5 percent of its detailed plan on
the ASEAN Economic Community. Besides, 99 percent of tariffs among
members of the ASEAN-6 have been removed. The association is also trying
to establish a system of regional certification by 2015.
On the ASEAN-APEC relationship, Minh said both sides need to reinforce cooperation and share experiences and initiatives.-VNA