BANGKOK (NNT) – Deputy Prime Minister/Commerce Minister Jurin Laksanawisit confirmed during the ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM) that ASEAN economic cooperation is playing a significant role in strengthening the region, bringing about the stability and security of ASEAN and promoting the outstanding role of ASEAN in the world community.
ASEAN economic, trade and investment expansion over the last five decades have underlined successes in cooperation between ASEAN member countries. Thailand, as this year’s chair of ASEAN, has focused on new aspects such as operational plans for innovation, integrated digital development, industrial development and human resources development, to meet the Fourth Industrial Revolution or 4IR as well as the promotion of digital applications, for use by SMEs.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) talks are intended to promote economics and trade stability, investments between ASEAN member and trade partner countries on a basis of cooperation among all 16 RCEP countries. Solutions to economic and trade problems are to be sought, and a conclusion to the RCEP talks be achieved as planned by ASEAN leaders within the year, so that ASEAN and trade partner countries’ GDP will combinedly account for 30% of the world’s GDP.
The deputy prime minister said today that ASEAN is facing various external challenges and needs to strengthen its unity and centrality, step beyond those challenges and steer the bloc’s economic cooperation toward the goals earlier set by ASEAN.