'Asean way' brings stability, prosperity to region: Najib (Updated)

14 Aug 2017 / 18:42 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: Asean is seen as the primary driving force in the regional political, security and economic architecture.
Stating this, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said this is evident in how it brought together major powers to negotiate important issues through dialogues like the Asean Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit.
Najib said the 'Asean way', as it is called, has brought stability and prosperity to the region and has become a well accepted style among member countries.

"Many authorities are now saying that it is a far more suitable model for us, and for other developing nations, than those of other regional associations that are now finding themselves troubled by division," he said in his speech at the 50th Anniversary of the Asean Celebration here today.
Najib said the 'Asean way' is a series of principles that were adopted when Asean was formed in 1967, which places extreme emphasis on national sovereignty and the commitment to non-intervention in the affairs of member countries.
"We have maintained the spirit of friendship, taking decisions by consensus, and recognising the sovereignty of the individual countries.
"We unite in Asean but we don't interfere in the internal affairs of our neighbours," he said.
Najib also said that with the establishment of the Asean Free Trade Area (Afta), members have almost completely eliminated tariff barriers to the free flow of goods, services and labour in a market of 625 million people.
"With a combined GDP of US$2.6 trillion, Asean is the world's sixth largest economy, and is projected to become the fourth largest economy in the world by 2050 at the latest, with some estimating we will reach that position by 2030," he said.
He also noted that Asean is leading and driving forward the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which will bring new opportunities to nearly half the world's population which represents 30% of global GDP.


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