ASEAN Deputy Secretary General Lim Hong Hin has called on the bloc’s member countries to implement the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) to cope with challenges posed by the global instability and build an economic community by 2015.

The Deputy Secretary General made the call at an ACIA forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on March 21 with the participation of around 200 delegates from 10 member states and their dialogue partners.

He underscored the inception of the agreement as one of the most important initiatives to realise the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), while demonstrating the commitment of the grouping’s member countries to the integration process.

Along with ACIA, Lim also noted other measures such as further trade liberalisation under a wide range of economic deals to increase investment into the region, thus, helping accelerate the process of AEC formation.

Sharing the same view, Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed expressed his belief that those challenges will be addressed thanks to the collective efforts so that ASEAN will achieve its goal of establishing AEC by 2015.

Participants at the event discussed four main themes of ACIA implementation in the context of the global economic difficulties, transforming ASEAN into an investment center in accordance with the four-pillar ACIA including liberalisation, protection, promotion and facilitation, the joining of the agreement by Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar, and ASEAN business environment.

The forum was held by the Malaysian Investment Development Agency in cooperation with the ASEAN Secretariat.-VNA