Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (second, left) attends the banquet (Photo: VNA)

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of Malaysia, which holds the 2015 ASEAN Chair, asserted the centre role played by ASEAN and its greater influence during a banquet for the bloc’s foreign and economic ministers in Kuala Lumpur, on April 25.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh and Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang were present at the banquet together with their ASEAN counterparts.

Muhyiddin Yassin stressed the need to continue reinforcing the bloc’s role and increasing its operation efficiency, saying that ASEAN’s behaviours towards continuous changes of regional and global geopolitical situation, will determine its future.

According to him, economic integration has been one of the key concentrations that ASEAN has paid attention to during last decades. Joint efforts from ASEAN member nations aiming at building a closely associated market helped boost trade links within the bloc, as well as between ASEAN and external partners.

Implementing all measures of an ASEAN Economic Community will help the creation of an integrated market for the bloc, he said.-VNA