YANGON, Aug. 8 — Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw on Tuesday called for doubling efforts to make the ASEAN region more politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and people-oriented in the next 50 years.
U Htin Kyaw made the remarks on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which Myanmar joined in 1997.
He urged ASEAN members to continue and expand engagement with global partners, whom he referred to as the driver that would promote the community’s growth in the coming years and improve the livelihood of ASEAN citizens.
He expressed confidence that the engagement will be realized through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which is expected to be finalized by the end of this year.
However, he warned of many challenges ahead of the goals, calling for counteracting the forces of the global and regional rise of populism, anti-globalization, terrorism, violent extremism and socio-economic uncertainties.
He urged for the participation of his country’s people, especially the women and youth, to strive to expedite regional integration, pushing forward with the next phase of consolidation and cohesiveness to make the ASEAN a more open, peaceful, inclusive, resilient and prosperous region.
This year’s ASEAN anniversary is marked with the theme of “Partnering for Change, Engaging the World”.