Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak (Photo: Southeast Asia Globe)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The operation method of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has brought stability and
prosperity to the entire region, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak at a
ceremony in Kuala Lumpur on August 14 to celebrate the bloc’s 50th founding anniversary.

PM Razak said ASEAN member nations have maintained
friendly ties and mad decisions based on the spirit of consensus and respect
for sovereignty of each country.

The ASEAN nations have united together but have not interfered
in each other’s internal affairs, he stated, adding that the bloc is now
recognised as a primary driving force in the regional political, security and
economic architecture, under which major powers negotiate and discuss important
issues through the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the East Asia Summit (EAS).

The Malaysian PM went on to say that ASEAN is leading and
driving forward the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which
would bring new opportunities to nearly half of the world’s population and
presents 30 percent of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

With a combined GDP of 2.6 trillion USD, ASEAN is the world’s
sixth largest economy, and is projected to become the fourth largest economy in
the world by 2030 at the latest, with some estimating the region will reach
that position by 2030, he noted.

Mentioning the
ASEAN Community, PM Razak said ASEAN works towards a community that is
politically cohesive, economically integrated and socially responsible and that
the key to a people-centred community is putting the citizens at the heart of

He stressed that
all ASEAN members must strive to make the Southeast Asian region more relevant
to its people and make people think of themselves as ASEAN citizens.-VNA