ASEAN could become the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050, according to Myanmar's Minister of the Prime Minister’s Department Wee Ka Siong.

The minister highlighted that with just one year before the ASEAN Economic Community becomes a reality, the regional bloc already has a combined gross domestic product (GDP) of 2.4 trillion USD, making it the world’s seventh largest economy.

Speaking at the Rise of the ASEAN Conference (ROAC) and the Global Entrepreneurs Roundtable (GER) in Malaysia last week, the minister said with total population of nearly 650 million people, ASEAN’s potential market is greater than the European Union (EU) and North America, trailing only China and India. ASEAN also has the world’s third biggest workforce and some of the cheapest labour costs.

He noted that the AEC is different from the EU due to different political and cultural structures. However, as in the EU, all country members should cooperate to create an ASEAN market and production base.

According to the minister, ASEAN has truly transformed into a dynamic and promising economic entity for business and investment.-VNA