The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre where the 27th ASEAN Summit will take place. (Source: AFP)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Malaysia on November 19 called on the ASEAN member countries to focus on promoting the relationship among their citizens during the development course of each country and the region.

The host nation made the statement at the ASEAN Plus Young Leaders Summit, which is organised ahead of the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Minister of Youth and Sports Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar emphasised that to make most of their own potential, the ASEAN countries cannot only rely on diplomats but should focus on relationships in reality like the one between businesses and citizens.

According to Minister Bakar, this is time to organise symbolic events to connect the bloc member countries like the World Cup 2034 which the ASEAN sports ministers decided to make a joint bid.

Those events will encourage the development of relationships between governments, enterprises and peoples.

Minister Bakar said the ASEAN Plus Young Leaders Summit aims to take advantage of the potential of young people, who have become the driving force for growth, stability and internal unity.

In his opening speech, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi affirmed ASEAN can only advance by assisting young leaders, businessmen, educators and community builders.

With 65 percent of the bloc’s population under 35, youth are the region’s biggest asset and the hope for the future.

With the theme “Our citizens, our community, our vision”, the 27th ASEAN Summit 2015 will be organised in Kuala Lumpur from November 21-22.-VNA