|At the event
The event was co-organised by the Centre for Asia Studies, the University of Economics’ Faculty of International Relations, and embassies of ASEAN member states in the Czech Republic with a view to raising understanding about ASEAN among academia in the country.
Leaders from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam were key speakers at the event.
They presented the brief history of ASEAN Community on the three pillars of politics-security, economy, socio-culture, stressing that the formation of the bloc aims to ensure peace and prosperity in the region.
However, ASEAN is facing challenges to regional peace and security such as the East Sea issue and the Rakhine state situation in Myanmar.
Therefore, the bloc gives one of its top priorities to strengthening linkage among its members, as well as ties between ASEAN and partners to ensure an environment of peace, security and stability in the region.
Speakers hailed the European Union as one of the important dialogue partners of ASEAN, especially in the fields of politics and security.
According to them, ASEAN and the EU are enhancing collaboration in maritime security, fighting trans-national crimes, terrorism, and violent extremism.
Chargé d'affaires at the Vietnamese Embassy in the Czech Republic Tran Thanh Huong highlighted the development of ASEAN Economic Community, saying that with a population of 642 million people and the fifth largest economy, ASEAN has become one of the key manufacturing and trade hubs in the world.
The bloc’s gross domestic product neared 3 trillion USD last year. Goods, services and foreign direct investment in ASEAN grew by 9.3 percent, 7.7 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively.
Manufacturing has become one of the major economic driving forces of the region, with key currency earners such as electronics, apparel, computers, processed food, rubber, sugar and rice. Global trade via ASEAN tops 3.4 trillion USD each year.
Due to limited infrastructure, she suggested that ASEAN should facilitate an open global trade system and boost trade and investment connection with partners.