Forging closer Asean ties

  • Business
  • Monday, 10 Mar 2003

Asean countries need to make concerted efforts to ensure the region's entity is viable and integrated, said International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz. 

“Parallel to the market liberalisation efforts, there must be measures undertaken to realise the success and benefits of the economic integration,” she said. 

These are, among others, the elimination of non-tariff barriers and other constraints to market access, the harmonisation of standards and compliance and conformity with these standards, and the elimination of bureaucratic bottlenecks and constraint which add to the costs of doing business, she said. 

Rafidah said this in her speech at the Asia Society 13th Asian Corporate Conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Friday. 

She said Asean members also needed to think about the implementation of collaborative programme, which enhance capacity building in key areas, particularly those that directly facilitate trade and investment cross-flows. 

With a population of more than 530 million and gross domestic product of well over RM2.77bil, she said Asean countries could create their own internal dynamism for long-term growth and development. 

She said the grouping also could not disregard the benefits that could be acquired from collaborating with its immediate neighbours, namely China, Japan and South Korea. – Bernama  

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