ASTANA – Heads of diplomatic corps accredited in Kazakhstan joined with Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Askar Mussinov in Astana Aug. 6 for the reception dedicated to the 48th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
In his remarks to the gathering, Mussinov noted the ASEAN community, which consists of the 10 largest nations of Southeast Asia with a population of more than 617 million and gross domestic product of $2.31 trillion, is a fast-growing subregion and major economic player. He also stressed that the accumulation of a large amount of natural resources, improvement of the social and economic situation and development of science and high technologies in the area form the foundation to look into the future with confidence.
“Kazakhstan is a reliable partner of the ASEAN. I would like to note that our country will continue to take all the efforts for further development of cooperation in order to strengthen political, socio-economic, cultural and humanitarian ties with the ASEAN countries and to ensure prosperity and development of the Southeast Asia region,” said Mussinov.
He added Kazakhstan is actively implementing the Nurly Zhol programme put forward by President Nursultan Nazarbayev in an effort to join the 30 most developed countries.
“In the framework of this programme, we have adopted the second five-year plan for industrial and innovative development, launched the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railroad which provides access to the Persian Gulf, opened a joint terminal of Kazakhstan and China at the Lianyungang seaport in China and a railroad to Almaty and almost completed the Western Europe–Western China motor road corridor.
“All these will give an opportunity to develop close economic relations with the countries of East and Southeast Asia, especially with the ASEAN countries, and deepen comprehensive cooperation,” he noted.
In his speech, Mussinov said that ensuring security in the Asian region is, without a doubt, a key and collective challenge which has direct influence on economic development.
“Measures on strengthening cooperation between the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which was convened at the initiative put forward by President Nazarbayev from the rostrum of the United Nations General Assembly in 1992 and which currently consists of 26 states, and the ASEAN Regional Forum established in the Asia-Pacific region in 1994, were not in vain,” he said.
Regarding global security issues, Mussinov reminded the audience of the country’s bid to secure a seat as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2017-2018.
As a result, development of security cooperation with the countries of Asia and Africa, especially with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), is one of Kazakhstan’s strategic goals, he added.
Mussinov also noted that conducting the international specialised exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana with the theme “Future Energy” against the background of climate change and global economic challenges is necessary for the energy security of the whole world.
ASEAN was formed in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand to promote political and economic cooperation and regional stability. Brunei joined in 1984 shortly after its independence from the United Kingdom and Vietnam became its seventh member in 1995. Laos and Burma were admitted into full membership in July 1997 as ASEAN celebrated its 30th anniversary, followed by Cambodia in 1999.