Members agree on 2025 ASEAN Community

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - ASEAN member countries have agreed upon the 10 years vision of the ASEAN Community 2025, following the ratification of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, titled ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together.

"The ASEAN Community 2025 declaration was an important moment as the continuation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), which will come into force on 31 December, 2015. The ASEAN Community 2025 is one of the associations visions for the next 10 years," Indonesian Trade Minister, Thomas Lembong, said in a press release received here Monday.

Both, the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together will act as the guidelines in better economic integration of the ASEAN region in the next 10 years.

The ASEAN community 2025 will include the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), and the ASEAN Socio-Culture Community (ASCC).

Five pillars together comprise the AEC 2015 blueprint, namely integrated and cohesive ASEAN Economy; competitive and dynamic ASEAN; improved connectivity and sectoral cooperation; resilient, inclusive and community-oriented ASEAN; and the ASEAN Global.

By implementing the AEC 2025 blueprint, each ASEAN member country will have an equal and inclusive growth to reduce inequality in development and thus reduce poverty, promote higher growth per capita, and increase the number of middle-income people.

"With the implementation of the AEC blueprint in 2025, Indonesia is expected to reach the target of creating an integrated economic area that will encourage sustainable economic growth and will be able to survive financial crisis and global economic uncertainty," said Thomas.

Meanwhile, the Director of ASEAN Cooperation of the Indonesian Ministry of Commerce, Donna Gultom, added that the AEC 2015 strategic action blueprint also takes into account the Indonesian national development plans.

"In its preparation, Indonesia seeks to minimize potential commitments that would have made it difficult for Indonesia to improve its competitiveness as well as keeping it in accordance with the long-term national development plan of Indonesia," said Donna.

Besides signing the 2025 ASEAN Community declaration, the ASEAN Economic Ministers also signed the ASEAN-China FTA Cooperation Agreement Amendment Protocol. The signing was witnessed by the head of ASEAN member countries and China.

The protocol aims to adjust ASEAN-China economic cooperation in an effort to boost trade between the two parties.

Besides, the 27th ASEAN Summit also witnessed the declaration of the Joint Statement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Negotiations by the Heads of States or Heads of Government of the RCEP members.

In the declaration, the RECP Heads of State or Government members instructed their economic ministers to complete the RCEP negotiations in 2016.

The RCEP is projected to improve the quality of economic integration in the region, quality of life, and equitable development, and to strengthen economic ties between the RCEP member states. (*)

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