Sunday, November 18, 2007

CNA News

"One Asean at the Heart of Dynamic Asia".
The theme for the 13th ASEAN Summit signals what will be key issues on the table of the 10 ASEAN leaders meeting in Singapore to hammer out a roadmap for the regional grouping after 40 years of development.

ASEAN leaders are expected to focus on energy, environment, climate change and sustainable development, as well as the landmark Asean Charter, which will give the 10-member grouping a legal identity.

During the discussion.....

And not surprisingly, the economic disparity between ASEAN member countries came up as they discussed the challenges to ASEAN economic integration.

Cambodia sees integration as an opportunity for less developed countries to match pace.

Cham Prasidh, commerce minister of Cambodia, said: "As long as we are part of this dynamic block, we are sure that although we are in the last wagon, we are still running at the same speed as the train. But if we are not hooked onto the locomotive, it's slow death. That's why it's very important for Cambodia to do it.

"When you deal with FTA (free trade agreement) and negotiation with a lot of dialogue partners then you realise you are still weak because you are not united yet. But now, the Charter and the Blueprint are going to give us more collective bargaining power. With this, I believe we can help ourselves to run faster."

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