Welcoming Remarks by H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN

aseanlogoOn the Occasion of the 48th ASEAN Day

10 August 2015, ASEAN Hall

Your Excellency, Jusuf Kalla, Vice- President of Indonesia,

Excellency Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, Governor of Jakarta,

Excellency  Retno  Marsudi ,Foreign Minister,

Excellency  Tedjo Edhy Purdjianto

Coordinating Minister for Political and Security,


Excellency  Rudiantara,

Minister for Communication and Information,


Excellency  Ferry Mursyidan Baldan

Minister for National Land Agency



Excellences Ambassadors,

Distinguished Guests, Friends

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is my great honor to welcome you today to this celebration of ASEAN Day with us.


After 48 years of evolution and development,   by the end of this year, we shall be realizing the dream of an ASEAN Community where our people are bound together in friendship, cooperation, peace, freedom and prosperity in a Community of opportunities.


In a region as diverse as Southeast Asia in terms of culture and history, the countries members of ASEAN could have succeeded this far only with the determination to come together with an ever-forward-looking approach to regional cooperation.


What began as a loose grouping of five countries in Southeast Asia has grown into a full-fledged association comprising of ten ASEAN Member States with a combined population of 625 million and a combined GDP of approximately two and half trillion US dollars, being the third largest economy in Asia and the seventh largest in the world.


Underpinned by the collective commitment to ensure peace, security and stability of the region, ASEAN’s economic integration within and into the global economy has driven the region’s robust growth and development.


From 2008 to 2014, after six years of implementing the Community Roadmap, intra-ASEAN trade increased by 33% reaching nearly 610 billion US dollars.


From 2004 to 2011, the total volume of ASEAN’s trade more than doubled, equal to its combined GDP.


Growth and development enabled ASEAN to achieve remarkable success in reducing poverty, improving health services, education and access to information, enhancing disaster preparedness, narrowing of development gaps within and among countries.


Growth and development have in turn enhanced integration.


Starting with its first economic agreement-the ASEAN Free Trade Area Agreement in 1992, ASEAN has become the only entity to have concluded free trade agreements with all major and middle economies in the world and is in the process of negotiations with its FTA partners towards the creation of a biggest single market accounting for half of the world’s population and one third of the world’s GDP.


Such achievements further strengthened ASEAN’s position as a centre of growth in the Asia Pacific region allowing it to play with centrality its role as the regional platform for deliberations helping reduce tension, maintain peace, security and stability and promote economic, cultural cooperation not only in Southeast Asia but also in the wider Asia Pacific region.


With the establishment of the ASEAN Community this year, ASEAN will bring about even more opportunities and benefits to all ASEAN peoples when barriers will be  further eliminated, national systems will be further harmonized, wider regional and global integration further enhanced.


It has been estimated that 15 years into the Community, by 2030, ASEAN will become the fourth largest economy in the world. Intra-ASEAN trade will increase from less than 25% of the total at present to 30% five years after the AEC is launched, by 2020.

At the heart of ASEAN’s efforts are the people.


ASEAN’s success will ultimately be measured by how the Community building efforts have benefited the lives of its citizens.


Right at the start, ASEAN was committed to secure for the peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom and prosperity.


48 years after, as it is developing its Post-2015 Vision, ASEAN has committed to establishing a people-oriented, people-cent red and rules-based ASEAN Community where all people, stakeholders and sectors of society can contribute to and enjoy the benefits from a more integrated and connected Community encompassing enhanced cooperation in the political-security, economic and socio-cultural pillars for sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.


And, this makes our celebration today even more meaningful as this will ensure the perpetuity of our Community.


Once again, I wish to thank Vice-President Jusuf Kalla, Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, distinguished Ministers, Ambassadors and all distinguished guests for joining us.


It’s my great honour to invite you, Mr. Vice-President, to address the distinguished audience.


Thank you!