Najib Razak: Asean to chart own course
VIENTIANE, Laos—Southeast Asia will “chart its own course” as it deepens economic linkages, building on the successes and learning from the mistakes of the European Union, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Monday.
“Of course, Asia is not Europe. But the fundamental principles behind free trade are the same wherever you are in the world.”
Najib said the Asean economic community aims to boost trade among the 10 member states by reducing barriers, harmonizing rules and easing the flow of goods and services.
Asean has, however, taken a cautious approach to accommodate the needs of its diverse membership, which ranges from communist-ruled states to democracies and a sultanate at various levels of economic development.
The regional bloc has shied away from talk of a single currency like the euro or setting up a mechanism like the EU, a common central bank or other related institutions.
“Asean will chart its own course, building on the successes of the European project whilst learning from its failures,” Najib said.
Source: Inquirer Global Nation