Bangkok, Mar.17 (VNA/NNT) – An economist and former Industry Minister has urged all Thais to be prepared for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) establishment in 2015 as the world is keeping an eye on its development and influence.

Bangkok Bank Executive Chairman Kosit Panpiemras stated that in 2000, 19 percent of Thai exports went to ASEAN nations and in 2010 the percentage increased to 23 percent indicating the greater importance of the region.

Within the 10-nation bloc, Mr Kosit explained that Thailand’s immediate neighbors, consisting of Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam or CLMV are the new markets for Thai exports. He added that trade with these countries has increased by 30 percent in 2011 compared to 2010.

Located between China and India, world’s emerging economic giants, ASEAN is expected to play a vital role in the global stage. The Chairman said other developed nations are losing their grip in the global economy; now the ASEAN bloc is getting more attention from the world./