ASEAN leaders meet in Thailand to outline responses to new regional and global challenges

The annual two-day Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit starts today in Bangkok, with leaders from across the

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Photo: Reuters

The annual two-day Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit starts today in Bangkok, with leaders from across the region to hold talks on the theme  “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability”.

Member states of various sizes will seek consensus on ways to face up to the new global challenges which are dangerous to their long-term survival. This includes addressing how best the region can manage the escalating trade war between the USA and China. The focus will be on enhancing economic cooperation and hardening the region from the impact of tensions between the world’s two largest economies, including by fast-tracking negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which have been underway since 2012.

Ramon M. Lopez, Secretary of Trade and Industry in the Philippines earlier this week stated his aim to have the RCEP completed by the end of the year—a sentiment sure to be shared by member states today.

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