Delegates from ASEAN embassies in Hanoi shared the experience of their countries in preparing for the formation of the ASEAN Community by the end of 2015 at a workshop in Hanoi on January 8.

Many delegates emphasised the need to include preparations for the Community’s formation in the national agenda, including building of skilled and competitive human resources, enhancing educational and vocational training quality to ensure young people can build on the success of the current generation, and conducting reforms to improve the national economy’s competitiveness.

Myanmar representatives said the country’s priorities are developing small- and medium-sized enterprises as the main driving force for ASEAN economic growth in the 21st century, narrowing the development gap and promoting sustainable development while enhancing the spirit of self-reliance in responding to crisis and natural disasters.

The delegates agreed that communication activities to enhance the public’s understanding about the ASEAN Community are very important so that every and each person can miximise opportunities offered by the community’s formation. A range of activities have been conducted in ASEAN member countries, including lectures at schools, mobile exhibitions or showrooms.

Participants said the mass media and publications are effective means in educating the public about the ASEAN Community. They also mentioned the role of the mass media and young people as well as Facebook as a channel to spread information.

The workshop was organized by the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry in coordination with the United National Development Programme.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN aims to establish the ASEAN Community by 2015 on the basis of three pillars: the Political-Security Community, the Economic Community and the Socio-Cultural Community.

The ASEAN members are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.-VNA