ASEAN countries need to increase their regional integration as well as raise capacity of national financial institutions, delegates said at bilateral sessions within the framework of the 19th World Economic Forum on East Asia in Ho Chi Minh City on June 6.

As a 580 million population market with GDP of 1,500 billion USD, ASEAN is among the world’s most dynamic economic development regions, contributing to the world economic driving force role of East Asia and Asia .

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Pham Gia Khiem emphasised the Southeast Asian region’s important results in economic connectivity, describing it a catalyst and important material premise for the East Asia community building process.

An ASEAN of dynamic development and close connectivity will contribute to the common development of all countries in the region, he said.

Jose Isidro Camacho, Credit Suisse Vice Chairman for Asia-Pacific, said although having connectivity for many years, facing new challenges of globalisation, particularly the post-economic crisis, requires ASEAN countries to further promote its regional integration.

He pointed out the region’s weaknesses in implementation of common issues, especially financial and capital market ones.

ASEAN needs to have financial integration in the region, common solutions for regional countries’ financial and capital issues, he noted.

According to Masahiro Kawai, Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute, capital market integration has made positive impacts on ASEAN economies due to mutual assistance among regional countries.

To boost financial integration in the region, ASEAN countries need to raise their national financial institution capacity, he said.

Asia must have stronger changes in the financial field and ASEAN countries also needs to open financial institutions, financial and capital regulations in the region, said Supachai Panitchpakdi, former WTO director general, Secretary General of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).

Deputy PM Khiem said as ASEAN 2010 Chair, Vietnam will actively coordinate and push up ASEAN+3 and East Asia summit cooperation.

He suggested ASEAN and regional countries focus all sources to carry out priorities, which include enhancement of financial-monetary cooperation, thus contributing to financial-monetary institution reform and global governance.

He agreed with proposals that ASEAN governments have stronger action plans in implementing the goal toward the ASEAN Community./.