Nusa Dua, Bali (ANTARA News) - Communications and Informatics Minister Tifatul Sembiring said countries grouped in the Association of Southeast Asian countries could emerge as a cultural, social and economic power in the future.

"ASEAN is a big market because it has a population of more than 600 million and this should not be looked down on by the world outside," Tifatul said at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC)here on Thursday.

He said that the merger of ASEAN countries would not only result in the formation of one region but also one community so that what would be developed ahead was togetherness among nations, which he referred to as a unity in diversity.

"We in Indonesia know this slogan well, namely `Bhineka Tunggal Ika`. I think with cooperation among ASEAN nations we will have formidable bargaining power with countries outside the region ," the minister said.

He said that economy is a pillar of the main priorities designed to gain a significant progress in the form of ASEAN community.r

The first pillar is the security-politics pillar where the regional development is carriedout free from nuclear weapons.

The second is the strengthening of the ASEAN capacity in conflict management, the third is the political development in Mynamar, the fourth is increased transparency in the military policy and the fifth is defense industry cooperation.

He mentioned the sixth pillar namely peace-keeping center network and the seventh one, namely the ASEAN common visa and the two yearly review of APSC blue print.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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