Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (Photo: The Malaysian Insider)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has brought enormous practical benefits to people from member countries.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak made the affirmation at the opening ceremony of the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur on November 21.

The ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) has cut tariffs to zero or near zero percent, helping reduce the prices of countless goods, and allowed citizens to have more money to spend on their families, he said.

People in ASEAN have witnessed a declining unemployment rate and enjoyed visa-free travel through nine out of the 10 member states, he added.

According to the PM, the further liberation and integration in the region together with the implementation of measures under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) are hoped to raise the bloc’s overall GDP by 7 percent by 2025.

Themed “Our people, Our Community, Our Vision”, the 27th Summit focused on the formal establishment of the ASEAN Community and the bloc’s extensive integration.

ASEAN was founded in 1967, grouping Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.-VNA