Reduce Economic Gap In Asean To Achieve Regional Development
By Saiful Bahri Kamaruddin
Pix Shahiddan Saidi
KUALA LUMPUR, 17 Feb 2016 – Development in the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) community can only be achieved if the economic gap between member states is reduced, according to panelists of the first Post-ASEAN Summit Roundtable Forum of 2016, last January.
In order for that to happen, the community should be integrated in a holistic manner, they concurred in the forum, co-organised by The National University of Malaysia (UKM) and Institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations (IDFR) of Wismaputra.
Forum panelists include Deputy Chief Executive of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS) Datuk Dr. Steven Wong, UKM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Noor Azlan Ghazali and IDFR Director Datuk Salman Ahmad.
Meanwhile, in his keynote address, Datuk Wong discussed about ASEAN’s lack of urgency in economic integration.
“Progress on concluding the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN’s answer to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), remains grindingly slow and indications are that several countries are looking farther afield, namely at the TPP, with others seem interested in joining,” he said.
However, he noted that ASEAN had served the region well at a time when its apex role was sorely needed.
The forum is part of the Economic Diplomacy Series (EDS) organised by the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies (IKMAS) at UKM.
The main objective of the EDS is to offer discourse on economic, trade and investment issues for interested participants and to provide greater understanding of economic issues to Malaysian diplomats abroad and foreign diplomats based in Kuala Lumpur.