PUTRAJAYA, As the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) today marked the 52nd anniversary of its founding in 1967, Malaysia expressed its wish to see an increase in intra-ASEAN trade, saying it will contribute to the well-being of the people.

Foreign Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob, in a statement on the occasion of ASEAN Day, said Malaysia also wanted to see the regional grouping advancing its single market agenda for free flow of goods, services, and investments, as well as freer flow of capital and skills as envisioned under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 plan.

This will allow ASEAN to make full use of its 640 million population, which has a combined market of US$2.3 trillion, he said.

Muhammad Shahrul said that this year, Thailand, as the ASEAN chairman, set the theme of 'Advancing Partnerships for Sustainability' and a notable outcome was the launching of the ASEAN Centre for Sustainable Development Studies and Dialogue in Thailand, which will provide strong momentum to promote sustainable development cooperation in the region.

Malaysia is fully supportive of Thailand's chairmanship theme. Malaysia has embarked on the sustainability initiatives in line with the 11th Malaysia Plan. Malaysia will continue to contribute to global sustainable initiatives by incorporating elements of sustainable development into national policy and strategies, he said.

Source: NAM News Network