Indonesian President Joko Widodo addresses a meeting of the IMF and WB (Photo: AFP/VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have reaffirmed commitment to upholding the open and rules-based multilateral trading system which has underpinned the countries’ economic growth during a meeting between ASEAN leaders.

The meeting took place on October 11 in Bali, Indonesia, on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB).

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong stated that ASEAN will double efforts to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) - an important regional trade agreement, by year-end.

The RCEP, comprising 10 ASEAN members and its six free trade agreement partners, namely China, Australia, Japan, India, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand, will be the world's largest trading bloc that covers nearly half of global population and 30 percent of the world's current annual gross domestic product.

Meanwhile, Indonesian President Joko Widodo underlined ASEAN’s determination to reduce the disparity and development gap between members, ensuring no one is left behind.

Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA