Brunei Darussalam is proud to chair ASEAN this year, and the country is all geared up to welcome delegates and media. First off the starters block will be the 22nd ASEAN Summit, which starts tomorrow (24 April). Visitors to the Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate, are immediately greeted by flags, banners, and posters. Pick up a copy of the local newspaper, and you are immediately reminded of the Summit.
“As we approach the establishment of the ASEAN Community in 2015, all ASEAN Member States are aware of the need to deliver the objectives which we set for ourselves,” said ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh. “Our ability to meet the objectives will have far-reaching effect for ASEAN beyond 2015.”
According to the World Bank, ASEAN and the Asia-Pacific is expected to grow by 7.9 percent this year, and 7.6 percent in 2014. This makes the region one of the fastest growing areas in the world.
Wednesday and Thursday’s meetings are expected to set the agenda for the following ASEAN Meetings this year, leading to the 23rd ASEAN Summit in October. Leaders from the 10 member states are also expected to discuss topics such as ASEAN’s Central Role and the Regional Architecture, ASEAN’s Future Direction, and Exchange of Views on Regional and International Issues.