The ten member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are exerting every effort to achieve the goal of establishing the ASEAN Community on December 31, 2015, ASEAN Secretary General Le Luong Minh has said.

In his interview granted to Vietnam News Agency correspondents in Jakarta, Indonesia, the ASEAN chief shared that nearly 90 percent of the works required for the formation have been completed so far, while the remaining is within reach as prioritised tasks have been put forth till the end of this year.

However, the bloc is still facing numerous challenges in this work and in consolidating the community beyond 2015, especially in realising regional commitments.

Priority should be given to fostering the ratification of signed agreements, putting regional commitments in national strategies and law articles, and setting up mechanisms to support the implementation of the commitments.

The Secretary General also stressed the necessity for the member states to fully implement regional agreements and commitments to attract more resources as the master plan on ASEAN connectivity requires roughly 60 billion USD per year in 10 years, while the bloc’s resources are limited and mainly dependent on partners and the private sector.

Another challenge facing the bloc is the knowledge of ASEAN people of the bloc, the ASEAN Community, and the consciousness of enterprises of the ASEAN Economic Community as well as both opportunities and challenges it offers.

Therefore, it is essential to improve the awareness of the 625 million people of the common community, he added.

Regarding the post-2015 ASEAN Community Vision, the Secretary General said that during 2016-2025, ASEAN will continue its efforts to ensure Southeast Asia is a peaceful, stable and prosperous region, and is well connected with other regions in the world.

The ASEAN Community in the 2016-2025 period will be a community playing the central role in regional institutions, and be a positive and reliable partner in the international arena, Minh added.

Founded in 1967, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA