His Excellency,

Prime Minister Phan Van Khai,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

I would like to begin by thanking Your Excellency, Prime Minister, and the Government and People of Vietnam for the great effort you have made in hosting the Summit, and for the warm hospitality that you have extended to all of us.

I would also like to congratulate Your Excellency on your fine stewardship of the Summit.

Under your capable and skillful guidance, the meeting has reached a most successful conclusion.

The cordiality and candour of our deliberations have demonstrated beyond doubt that despite the difficulties in the region, the ASEAN spirit is well and alive.

We share a common understanding on the gravity of the crisis afflicting the region and the urgency to address it.

We know that there are no soft options.

The only way to pull ourselves out of the crisis is to press on with economic reforms and regional economic co-operation.

I am very pleased that we have adopted a number of important documents.

I am particularly happy that we are ready to implement the Hanoi Plan of Action.

We are also ready to proceed with our set of bold measures.

This is significant for a number of reasons.

First, the plan provides a comprehensive roadmap for regional growth and development in the next six years.

This serves as a strong impetus to our collaboration in the political, economic and functional areas, which have been the three main pillars of regional co-operation in ASEAN.

Second, the Hanoi Plan of Action has proposed several important measures to tackle the regional economic Crisis.

Third, adopting the Hanoi Plan of Action demonstrates clearly that ASEAN leaders are serious about the ASEAN’s vision of a peaceful, stable and prosperous Southeast Asia.

Together with the adoption of the Bold Measures, they show our strong determination to regain business confidence, enhance economic recovery and promote growth.

All of these, will give new momentum to the region’s growth and development.

Although preoccupied with the economic crisis, we are also laying the foundation for long-term regional stability and prosperity.

I would like to commend our Ministers and officials for having brought about the successful conclusion of the second protocol to the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Manila this year.

Countries outside the region Would soon be able to accede to the Treaty.

In addition, I urge our Ministers and officials to continue the good work in the ASEAN Regional Forum.

It has been a useful and constructive forum for confidence building and fostering greater understanding between ASEAN and the major powers.

As we bring the Summit to a close, I would like on behalf of my ASEAN colleagues to once again thank our warm and generous Vietnamese host for all their efforts in making our stay a very enjoyable and memorable experience.

I look forward to welcoming you all to Bandar Seri Begawan for the next ASEAN Summit. Thank you.