How should Asean nations strengthen their cooperation for regional development?

Yesterday was Asean Day, marking the 51st anniversary of the establishment of the grouping on August 8, 1967. All Asean nations, including Laos, celebrated this important occasion. To mark the anniversary, Vientiane Times asked some members of the public for their thoughts on how cooperation among Asean countries could be strengthened.


Ms Vonexay, an employee in Sikhottabong district, Vientiane: I think the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a very important regional association and it is one of the biggest communities in the region and the world. All member countries have cooperated in diverse fields, including politics, socio-economic development, culture and the arts, peace and stability, technology, science, education, agriculture and industry, trade, transport and communications. Membership in Asean is very good for every country in the region, particularly for socio-economic development. Every country has benefited from Asean membership, which has helped drive socio-economic growth and improved conditions. Like the other member countries, Laos now has more partners in trade, investment and development in many fields. Cooperating with regional countries in all fields and more special partners has accelerated development in each country. As a result, the Asean community has grown more rapidly, as can be seen over these 51 years.
Mr Sati, a resident of Pakngum district, Vientiane: As is clear since Asean was established, many things have improved and developed, particularly cooperation in socio-economic development, which is now flourishing. This is evident through the rapid economic growth in many member countries, including Laos. Since joining Asean, Laos has partnered with all member countries and, in turn, Laos has been assisted by those Asean countries that are more developed. Member countries have more partners for the development of their education and cultural exchanges. It is good that Asean people understand and help each other in this way. Asean is very strong and can access regional and international markets and also compete with other regions, particularly in America and Europe. Of course, we should continue to work together to develop our community and make it more modern so that it has a bright future. There should be more cultural and arts exchanges too because this will also help to accelerate development in the region.
Ms Chanthaly Phounpasong, a resident of Xayaboury province: There are many countries in Asean and all members cooperate with each other closely in all fields, working together to implement policies and plans and helping each other to solve problems. There is great potential for socio-economic development in this region. Through this association, all members, including Laos, can promote their individual strengths in various ways. All countries should continue to cooperate and help each other and develop the region together. There should be more individual cooperation between the member countries. All people should live in peace in a just, democratic and harmonious environment. All countries should pay attention to the well-being, livelihoods, and welfare of their people and work to improve the quality of life. Better living conditions will make this association happier, healthier and more developed.
Ms Phimchay Sengviengkham, a resident of Champassak province: The Asean community comprises three pillars - the Asean Political-Security Community, Asean Economic Community and Asean Socio-Cultural Community. Each pillar has its own blueprint and all of them are very important. It is good that all Asean countries have cooperated closely in all fields and have helped each with development and solving problems. We should continue these fine traditions and expand on them in the future. To ensure continued development in Asean countries, they all need to work together. I would also like to say that member countries which are more developed should help less developed countries in order to achieve equality and improve the quality of life in the region. As there is still a gap in development between the more developed and less developed countries, this makes a difference in living conditions and socio-economic growth. Helping each other through the sharing of technology, equipment, specialists and funding would be a good thing.


By Visith Teppalath
(Latest Update August 09, 2018)

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