Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Photo: Xinhua)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA)
– The close ties and cooperation among ASEAN members must not just to be maintained but should be further increased and improved from time to time, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

By doing so, ASEAN will continue to progress and succeed, the PM said in a statement on April 25.

Najib will lead the Malaysian delegation to the 30th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings in the Philippines.

The Gross Domestic Product of ASEAN nations reached 2.5 trillion USD last year, placing the region as the world’s seventh largest economy, he noted, adding that the world’s economic experts are confident that ASEAN would become the fourth largest economy by 2050.

ASEAN, he said, is now on its 50th year since the Bangkok Declaration which was signed by Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia, followed by other Southeast Asian countries such as Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar in the subsequent years.

Since then, the region and ASEAN member states have been progressing well, not just in terms of the achievement of each country individually but also the achievement of the entire grouping, he said, expressing his hope that ASEAN would be dubbed as among the most successful regional associations in the world.-VNA