ASEAN summit begins
Nay Pyi Taw: The importance of greater engagement with the rest of the world was emphasised by Myanmar President U Thein Sein as the 25th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit kicked off here Wednesday.
Stressing on the potential trading and investment opportunities ASEAN has with other blocs, Thein Sein called for greater engagement with the G20 and BRICS countries. The G20 in particular will gain attention as it gets under way right after ASEAN summit.
"We must also focus on establishing a culture of compliance to the established rules of regional architecture," he told the gathering of members as ASEAN faces the challenge of meeting their integration deadline next year.
Myanmar is welcoming its biggest gathering of global leaders since the start of reforms which have seen it shed its sidelined status.
Leaders attending the summit include Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
The two-day meeting is the culmination of a year which has seen Myanmar seize the diplomatic limelight after having long been shunted to the sidelines.
"This year is the most important turning year deciding the achievement of the ASEAN community by 2015 and Myanmar has played an important role in accelerating the implementation of the remaining action lines for the ASEAN Community building," Xinhua quoted ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh said ahead of the summit opening.
In Nay Pyi Taw, leaders will discuss progress made towards achieving the goal of an ASEAN Community by 2015 and the direction of ASEAN's Post-2015 Vision. They will also consider recommendations by the High Level Task Force on Strengthening the ASEAN Secretariat and reviewing the ASEAN organs.
In addition, they will exchange views on regional and international developments. The summit is expected to adopt the Nay Pyi Taw Declaration for the ASEAN community's post-2015 vision.