Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Source: Xinhuanews)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on November 20 said after the formation of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), economies in the bloc would grow at an estimated average pace of 5.6 percent through 2019.

Speaking at the 2015 ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, PM Najib Razak said foreign direct investment in the region will continue rising after the formation of the AEC and the member economies will grow sustainably, bringing in prosperity and improving living standards.

The AEC will also create more economic and job opportunities in ASEAN, and help the association continue to be an attractive destination for international investors and businessmen, he said.

The PM also emphasised the important role of public-private partnership and the private sector in driving the economy forward.

According to the ASEAN Integration Report (AIR) announced the same day, the economic growth of ASEAN in 2015 will continue at 4.6 percent, which is higher than the global average of 3.3 percent. The rate for 2016 is predicted to rise to 4.9 percent.

Regional economic integration should continue to help accelerate the economic recovery and boost growth. After 2015, the ASEAN economy will continue transforming to overcome global economic challenges.

According to the AIR, the structure of ASEAN economies has changed since the passing of the AEC blueprint in 2007, with the proportion of service sector in 2014 climbing to 50.2 percent, while industry and agriculture have fallen to 38 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

The share of intra-bloc trade out of total trade is relatively sustainable at 25 percent. In 2014, it increased 58.9 percent in comparison with 2007, higher than outside-bloc trade of 51.7 percent.

According to the report, ASEAN is a key destination for FDI capital, which hit 136.2 billion USD in 2014. FDI outside the bloc now accounts for 17.8 percent, compared to 11.3 percent in 2007.-VNA