ASEAN Community must be strengthened to gain more hinh anh 1Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Photo:

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has urged ASEAN member countries to join hands in strengthening the ASEAN Community and turn it into a major global player.

Speaking at the launch of the 48th ASEAN founding anniversary in Kuala Lumpur on August 8, he said a strong community would be able to forge new agreements with other countries and groups, which benefit the region.

“The more we strengthen the ASEAN Community, the more we will gain”, he affirmed.

The Prime Minister believed that, with more than 600 million people and the third largest workforce in the world, the ASEAN Community has every prospect for becoming a major global player.

It is estimated that ASEAN could constitute the fourth largest market after the European Union, US and China by 2030, he said, adding that the intra-ASEAN trade jumped from 458 billion USD in 2008 to 609 billion USD last year and will further increase with more elimination of barriers.

Since the grouping was established in 1997, ASEAN members have actively promote peace, stability, growth and cooperation, the PM stressed.

“We need to raise the awareness on ASEAN, its great achievements of the past and the brighter horizons for all it should bring about in the future”, he said.

The state leader also launched ASEAN guide book entitled “My ASEAN My home” on the occasion.-VNA