Officials from ASEAN’s newest members -- Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam --met at a seminar to seek ways to bridge the development gap between them and the association’s founding members.
The seminar, held in Vientiane, Laos on Feb. 11-12, also saw the attendance of officials from Germany’s GTZ organization and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The participants focused on ways to implement the second working plan of the Initiative on ASEAN Integration (IAI), which began in 2009 and is scheduled to wrap up in 2015. The plan has been set to help ASEAN’s new members narrow the development gap with their peers.
In addition, they discussed how to realise their commitments to building the ASEAN Community by 2015 as the bloc’s new members are viewed as likely to meet with difficulties in fulfilling their goals on ASEAN integration within the next five years because of the adverse impact of the global economic crisis last year.
The seminar was jointly held by the Lao Foreign Ministry’s ASEAN Department and the ASEAN Secretariat.