Surin Pitsuwan Addresses ASEAN Summit
March 4, 2009
The economy was at the top of the agenda at the 14th ASEAN summit this past week in Cha-am, Thailand. Just beforehand, on February 26, 2009, Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN and a Trustee of The Asia Foundation, laid out some of the issues at the 2009 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) in Bangkok.
In his remarks, he stated: “Others outside are convinced that ASEAN, in cooperation with the Plus Three countries (China, Japan and Korea), will be another pool of growth and a centre of dynamism post-crisis. A new landscape is being developed with multi-centres; no longer dependent on the United States or Western Europe.”
He also noted, “Ten years ago, we were hit by a crisis. Ten years ago, we separately ran for cover and separately failed. The crisis first came to Thailand and spilled over to the rest of ASEAN. The entire East Asia miracle was demolished. Now, we have instituted reforms. Banks are less exposed to toxic assets and savings are higher than any region. We are a strong economic engine. At international meetings, all look at ASEAN. They talk about us; our stability, our growth, and we are providing stability to the international financial system.”
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