Speaking at the opening ceremony, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak praised the strong economic growth of ASEAN and confirmed ASEAN is one of a few regions in the world posting continuous growth over years.
He raised the fact that ASEAN recorded a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 4.6% in 2014, which is forecast to reach 5.6% in the next four years.
The association attracted US$136 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2014, mainly from the EU, Japan and the US, he noted.
The PM expressed his confidence that the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) – one of the three key pillars of the ASEAN Community at the end of this year will enable the increasing FDI inflow.
ASEAN is expected to become the fourth biggest economy in the world by 2050, he said.
Addressing the function, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of Vietnam Nguyen Cam Tu said it is necessary to popularise benefits of the AEC among people, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises.
The Vietnamese representative highlighted sustainable development as one of the important issues that the AEC should pay due attention to and shared that Vietnam has concentrated on the field over the past 10 years by reducing the use of coal as an energy resource while raising awareness of environmental protection among enterprises.