HANOI, Jan 10 (Bernama) -- Asean must take
advantage of the opportunities arising from the sluggish world economy,
International Trade and Industry Ministry secretary-general Datuk Dr Rebecca
Fatima Sta Maria said today.
She said the euro zone debt crisis plaguing
european nations should be an advantage for Asean countries to develop their
capacity in the region.
"If we don't step up our efforts and take
advantage of the current situation, we would lag behind. It's important for
Asean to seize the opportunities.
"There are lots of uncertainties. However,
Asean needs to keep focusing on raising domestic consumption, domestic
investments, intra-Asean trade and intra-Asean investments," she told
reporters on the sidelines of the 11th Hitachi Young Leaders' Initiative.
On Malaysia being ranked the 10th most attractive
country for foreign direct investments (FDIs), Rebecca said investments in
Malaysia would not benefit the country alone but also other Asean countries.
"The benefits will just flow because of the
Asean integration (in 2015), if Asean nations are not integrated, then there
are no benefits. That's how it works," she added.
The Hitachi Young Leaders' Initiative is a
community relations programme hosted by Hitachi under which four top students
from seven Asian countries meet to discuss current and regional issues.