Updated  
September, 25 2013 08:33:00

Singapore's PM eyes ASEAN goal

Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong.— Photo Getty

SINGAPORE (VNS)— Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has agreed that by the end of 2015, the 10 ASEAN nations will achieve their aim of becoming one community.*

However, he also agreed with journalists that a considerable development gap could still exist between old and new members.

Talking about Singapore's contributions to reducing this gap, PM Lee said in countries such as Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and Viet Nam had growth rates were generally higher than in the more developed parts of ASEAN.

The Singaporean PM was addressing media men participating at the sixth ASEAN Journalists Visit Programme which took place in the Garden City from September 16 to 22.

Lee said that in terms of development, Singapore had the Initiative for ASEAN Integration, human-resource development programmes, technical co-operation programmes where officials from new ASEAN members get exposed in Singapore to its departments, how things are done - and pick up ideas which they can implement back home.

"And I think that that is probably the most effective way Singapore can help the new countries develop their economies."

Asked if the deadline for the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015, was achievable, he said: "From what our officials tell me, I think on the economic community side, we have 80-85 per cent of the work done. I don't think that we will reach 100 per cent of the things which we have sketched out for 2015, but we will reach the bulk of it.".

PM Lee, who has just spent three days in Viet Nam at the launch of a Strategic Partnership agreement between Singapore and Viet Nam, said: "This sets out the areas where we can co-operate together – economic, educational, cultural, social, human resources development, including political co-operation .

During the visit, he visited central Quang Ngai Province, where work began on the fifth Viet Nam-Singapore Industrial Park Project.

"I was told it was one of the least affluent parts of the country, but there is potential because there is land, you have hydrocarbons with gas and oil there. You have workers, people willing to work and we are building an industrial park there. I think the investments will come and the jobs will be created. And the development will follow. So I think that I am optimistic on Viet Nam."

* ASEAN, the regional economic and political bloc, plans to play a central role as an emerging hub in the Asia-Pacific. By 2015 it envisions an ASEAN Economnic Community with a single market and distribution base. According to an annual report released by ASEAN, the 10 member states are on track to achieve integration of their economies by 2015. Its secretary general Le Luong Minh noted that economically, ASEAN had already implemented nearly 80 per cent of the measures in the ASEAN Economic Community Blueprint. — VNS

Send Us Your Comments:
Name:
Your E-mail address:
Title:
 

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.

Highlight

HCM City struggles to control influx of substandard produce 1    HCM City struggles to control influx of substandard produce

High demand for farm produce and the sheer variety of ways in which it is brought into HCM City from other localities makes quality control a very difficult task, officials say.

Hoi An hosts silken rendezvous Hoi An hosts silken rendezvous

Top craftsmen and women from seven silk villages in Viet Nam will participate in the Viet Nam Silk Culture Day at Hoi An city's Silk Village centre on December 28.

Local art smashes auction record Local art smashes auction record

Days after noted Vietnamese artist Le Pho's View from the Hilltop set a new auction record, art collector Nguyen Minh still has a lingering feeling of regret.

Long Bien Bridge preservation divides planners 3    Long Bien Bridge preservation divides planners

Architecture and cultural managers discussed Long Bien Bridge's future at a seminar held on Wednesday in Ha Noi.

Malaysia crush VN in AFF semis Malaysia crush VN in AFF semis

Viet Nam suffered a nightmare yesterday at My Dinh Stadium in Ha Noi as they were knocked out of the ASEAN Football Federation-Suzuki Cup.