Sunday, October 25, 2009

ASEAN to Establish ASEAN-G20 Contact Group

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plans to establish an ASEAN G20 Contact Group to coordinate the regional grouping`s position ahead of G20 summits.

The contact group will comprise the ASEAN chair, the ASEAN secretary general, and Indonesia, the only G20 member from ASEAN, ASEAN heads of state/government said in a joint statement issued at the 15th ASEAN Summit here on Saturday.

G20 which groups Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, Britain, the United States and the European Union has convened three times since 2008 to seek a solution to the current global financial crisis and discuss regulations to avoid a recurrence of similar crises.

At its several meetings, G20 also had invited ASEAN as the representative of a regional grouping.

In the 57-point statement, the ASEAN leaders also agreed to assign the ASEAN chair and the ASEAN secretary general to attend every G20 meeting to deliver the regional grouping`s collective position and views as well as to promote its role at a global level.

The ASEAN leaders also asked their respective finance ministers to coordinate with one another in formulating ASEAN member states` collective views as part of efforts to create economic and financial stability either at regional or global level.

In their joint statement, the ASEAN leaders also expressed support for the continuity of the domestic stimulus package to ensure sustained recovery from the current global financial crisis.

In his opening address to the 15th ASEAN Summit on Friday, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva called for ASEAN`s greater role in G20 to represent the developing countries` interests.

ASEAN groups Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

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