50th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting opens in Singapore

Wednesday, 2018-08-29 22:05:24
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Delegates take a photo at the opening of the 50th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM 50) Meeting and Related Meetings in Singapore on August 29. (Photo: VNA)
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NDO/VNA – The 50th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM 50) Meeting and Related Meetings kicked off in Singapore on August 29 with the participation of economic leaders from 10 ASEAN member states and partner countries.

The Vietnamese delegation, led by Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, participated in the meetings.

In his speech at the opening ceremony, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong highlighted the establishment and development of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

He said the bloc has tremendous economic potential with a strong market of over 630 million people. The grouping’s GDP growth has averaged 5.4% in recent years, well above the global average, and is projected to expand around this rate over the next five years, he noted.

ASEAN is forecast to become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2030, just behind the US, China and the European Union (EU), he said, adding that strengthening regional economic cooperation and integration is the key for ASEAN to fully tap its potential, including pressing on with the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint 2025, as well as supporting an open and inclusive multilateral system amid growing trade tensions.

AEM 50 will run until September 1 with a series of related meetings such as the 32nd ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Council Meeting and the 21st ASEAN Investment Area (AIA) Council Meeting.

ASEAN economic ministers are due to meet with their counterparts from dialogue partner countries namely Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the US.

The sixth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting, the 11th Mekong-Japan Ministerial Meeting, and the 10th Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) Economic Ministers’ Meeting will be held as part of AEM 50.