Economic Ministers from the Five-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday (March 8) met in Kuala Lumpur to discuss ways to implement the decisions on economic co-operation taken at the Bali summit last month.
Exterior views of conference building
Hussein Onn arrives and shakes hand with govt officials
Hussein and Economic Ministers take seats
Interior of ASEAN conference, pan to Hussein
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Economic Ministers from the Five-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday (March 8) met in Kuala Lumpur to discuss ways to implement the decisions on economic co-operation taken at the Bali summit last month.
At the two-day closed-door meeting economic ministers from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand were discussed an industrial complementation plan by which one member country will undertake a large-scale industrial project supported by the other member countries.
The projects they have set their minds on were the fertiliser industry, petrochemical complex, steel mill, newsprint and rubber products industries.
Speaking at the opening of the second ASEAN Economic and Trade Ministers Conference, the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Hussein Onn said ASEAN is not a tool of any extra-regional big power. "We do not intend to be so," he declared.
Hussein added, "time will show that ASEAN is an association of Southeast Asians, by Southeast Asians and for Southeast Asians, and not a new SEATO in disguise."
The Prime Minister was obviously referring to Hanoi's recent accusation that the five-nation organisation was an American front designed to enhance the United States's hold in the region.