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Laos urged to maximise AEC benefits
Publication Date : 08-08-2013
Laos needs to forge ahead with its strength and competitiveness to ensure it benefits from the Asean Economic Community (AEC), the Foreign Minister said.
Dr Thongloun Sisoulith, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, made the remark this week to mark the 46th anniversary of the founding of Asean and the 16th anniversary of Laos' accession to the regional bloc.
The minister highlighted eight activities required for Laos to have the “self-strength and competitiveness” needed for the country to maximise benefits from the AEC – the integrated regional economy to be introduced in 2015.
Activities include strengthening the country's macro- and micro-economic management, improving and developing quality infrastructure including transportation and logistics systems, and establishing Laos as a link in regional integration.
Thongloun stressed the need to improve or develop new comprehensive laws covering all fields and to ensure stricter law enforcement, and to gradually improve the legal system until it is in line with regional and international standards.
He said developing qualified human resources and skilled manpower would also be required.
The minister said the business sector should be proactive in improving production, quality and productivity for domestic consumption and export so as to meet the needs of markets in different periods.
He said businesses should be moving towards growth, competition, mergers and mutual assistance in order to create common strength in the sector.
Thongloun recognised the need to maintain stability and social order conducive for socio-economic development in Laos.
“Together, we must continue to maintain a peaceful and stable environment, social order and stable economic growth in order to compete in the Asean market so that we can turn challenges into opportunities,” he said.
“I do believe that in a globalised era, only by ensuring self-strength and competitiveness will we be able to bring the benefits offered by the Asean Economic Community and global integration to our nation and people.”
Asean was founded on Aug 8, 1967 with the aim of maintaining and promoting peace, stability and cooperation for the prosperity of the Southeast Asian nations.
The 10 member countries have been working together to build and realise the Asean community – a single market and production base, comprised of the AEC, the Asean Political-Security Community and the Asean Socio-Cultural Community.
With a population of more than 600 million people and combined gross domestic product of about US$2,178 billion as of 2011, Asean has been an emerging economic growth region amid economic downturns in other parts of the world.
Asean has enhanced coo peration with external partners, particularly through its dialogue partners such as Asean+1, Asean+3 (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea), the Asean Regional Forum (27 participants), the Asean Defence Ministers' Meeting Plus (18 participating countries), and the East Asian Summit (18 participating countries).