ASEAN to build strong foundation ties with China, Japan and S Korea
- POSTED: 10 Oct 2013 13:23
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ASEAN looks forward to building on a strong foundation of cooperation with its Plus Three partners by implementing a revised cooperation plan for the next five years.
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN: ASEAN looks forward to building on a strong foundation of cooperation with its Plus Three partners, namely China, Japan and South Korea, by implementing a revised cooperation plan for the next five years.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made this point at the ASEAN Plus Three Summit meeting in Brunei on Thursday.
Mr Lee suggested strengthening cooperation in five areas.
In the area of finance, he noted that the ASEAN+3 Macroeconomic Research Office (AMRO) in Singapore is progressing well.
Mr Lee is encouraging the institution to deepen its linkages with international financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
He said this can be done by strengthening collaboration with the IMF in surveillance, capacity development and crafting enforcement frameworks.
Mr Lee stressed that should a financial crisis hit, combining regional resources with that of the IMF's will restore market confidence sooner.
The next area is food security.
Mr Lee said the speedy distribution of emergency rice reserves to the Philippines and Laos after recent natural disasters reflected the value and success of the partnership with the Plus Three partners.
Next is education and Mr Lee welcomed progress on the Plan of Action on Education being implemented by ASEAN and its three partners.
As for tourism, he said the Memorandum of Cooperation on ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Cooperation will strengthen people-to-people ties and bring about a better appreciation of the rich cultures and heritage of others.
And for ASEAN Connectivity, Mr Lee said the Plus Three countries have formed task forces to work with the ASEAN Connectivity Coordinating committee and they will be promoting it at a forum in Seoul next week.
Meanwhile, ASEAN's commitment to tackle transboundary haze has been entrenched in the chairman's statement released at the close of the two-day summit.
The chairman's statement is a reflection of the key thoughts and decisions undertaken by ASEAN's leaders during their summit on a whole range of issues faced by the 10 members of ASEAN and the grouping's ties with the international community.
The leaders have also taken note of the outcome of the trilateral meeting on the haze between the foreign ministers of Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia in August this year.
They have also welcomed Indonesia's commitment to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution at the earliest time.
On talks on the South China Sea dispute, the chairman's statement reiterates that ASEAN looks forward to intensifying official consultations with China on developing a Code of Conduct (COC) with a view to an early conclusion of the process.
ASEAN believes the COC will serve to enhance peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
The 10-member grouping also looks forward to developing hotlines of communications to further enhance trust and confidence to respond to emergency situations at sea and cooperate in the area of search and rescue for vessels in distress.