"The faster the AEC 2015 is implemented, the better it is for Bugis Makassar merchants who are ready to face it," added Kalla at the 14th Bugis Makassar Merchants Meeting (PSBM) in the South Sulawesi provincial city of Makassar.
He noted that the AEC would have a positive impact on the regional economy and encouraged Bugis Makassar merchants to be more creative and ready to face challenges.
The PSBM is a post-Lebaran annual agenda for all Bugis Makassar merchants on Sulawesi Island and beyond.
Meanwhile, organising committee chairman Afnacarso Faisal Suhaeb said close to 1,200 merchants will attend the two-day meeting from August 19 to August 20, 2013, to share ideas on developing both the regional and national economies.
Faisal added that the theme of the meeting is, "Accelerating South Sulawesi Economic Development to Welcome ASEAN Economic Community 2015."
According to him, the first meeting was initiated by Jusuf Kalla, when he served as the chairman of the South Sulawesi branch of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) in 1994.