H.E. Mr. Lutfi Rauf
Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Thailand
at the Seminar on
“ASEAN Management Paradigm towards ASEAN Community”
16 February 2012
President of Kasetsart University,
Deputy Director-General of ASEAN Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand
Ambassador Eddi Hariady of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia
Distinguished Speakers, Moderators and Participants of the Seminar on ASEAN Management Paradigm,
Good morning to you all and Sawadi Krab,
I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude for being here, meeting with you and deliver my brief address. I am particularly pleased to attend this event as this is the first activity of this kind that I attended since my arrival as new Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Thailand three weeks ago. Let me also seize this opportunity to commend the Kasetsart University for hosting this seminar entitle “ASEAN Management Paradigm towards ASEAN Community”
Now let me begin with a question Why ASEAN Community is so important to us, so important to the people in Southeast Asia, even beyond?
We all learnt from the history decades back. This region had experienced prolonged conflicts that had brought about lack of progress in many aspects in our region compare to other regions that had moved and progressed well ahead us.
Now we see different story that make us all proud. The countries in Southeast Asia region had managed to consolidate themselves into an association by putting aside their differences. They have successfully transformed their region from "battle zone" to a region that is stable, peaceful and prosperous, or transformed its members from "bitter enemies" to a state where they could develop their strong bond of brotherhood and collaborating for their mutual benefit. We could not deny that this condition is prerequisite to bring our region ahead, progress, through cooperation not only within, but also with others beyond the region. That had further brought ASEAN to a stage where they feel more confident in expressing their aspiration to become a community.
For the first time in its history, at the meeting of ASEAN Summit in Bali 2003, ASEAN leaders had envisioned an ASEAN Community that shall comprise of three pillars, namely political and security cooperation, economic cooperation, and socio-cultural cooperation that are closely intertwined and mutually reinforcing for the purpose of ensuring durable peace, stability and shared prosperity in the region. To achieve this, ASEAN continues to ensure closer and mutually beneficial integration among its member states and among their peoples, and to promote regional peace and stability, security, development and prosperity with a view to realizing an ASEAN Community that is open, dynamic and resilient.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me touch upon briefly how Leaders in that Summit described these three pillars.
On the Political-Security pillar, member countries of ASEAN wish to see ASEAN Political-Security Community could ensure as I quote that "countries in the region live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic and harmonious environment". Each member is also tasked to promote "peaceful processes in the settlement of intra-regional differences and regard their security as fundamentally linked to one another and bound by geographic location, common vision and objectives. It has the following components: political development; shaping and sharing of norms; conflict prevention; conflict resolution; post-conflict peace building; and implementing mechanisms."
On the Economic pillar, our leaders envisioned the ASEAN Economic Community that "shall be the goal of regional economic integration by 2015. AEC envisages the following key characteristics: (a) a single market and production base, (b) a highly competitive economic region, (c) a region of equitable economic development, and (d) a region fully integrated into the global economy. In different ASEAN document, it is also highlighted the areas of cooperation. It includes human resources development and capacity building; recognition of professional qualifications; closer consultation on macroeconomic and financial policies; trade financing measures; enhanced infrastructure and communications connectivity; development of electronic transactions through e-ASEAN; integrating industries across the region to promote regional sourcing; and enhancing private sector involvement for the building of the AEC. In short, the AEC will transform ASEAN into a region with free movement of goods, services, investment, skilled labor, and freer flow of capital.
As for the Socio-Cultural pillar, it is aimed at focusing on "nurturing the human, cultural and natural resources for sustained development in a harmonious and people-oriented ASEAN". It is also aimed at achieving enduring solidarity and unity among the peoples and Member States of ASEAN. It seeks to forge a common identity and build a caring and sharing society which is inclusive and where the well-being, livelihood, and welfare of the peoples are enhanced.
To ensure that each of members of ASEAN pursue these goals with full commitments, they have successfully established a Charter that brought ASEAN into a regional organization that is rules-based. With this we are moving closer towards ASEAN’s “one vision, one identity, and one community.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our challenges ahead of course is how to translate these golden goals and agenda into practical works that will eventually bring benefit to the people of ASEAN. One of the answers to those challenges is how to connect ourselves in constructive way, especially in economic fields. For ASEAN the development of connectivity in Southeast Asia has become a main priority. Our vision is to connect the economic centers in the region; to connect the archipelagic countries and the ASEAN mainland; and to connect ASEAN with the remaining East Asia and the world as a whole.
For that reason, at the ASEAN Summit 2010 in Hanoi, leaders have moved further in setting up clear direction by producing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, a strategic document for achieving overall ASEAN Connectivity and a plan of action for immediate implementation for the period 2011-2015 to connect ASEAN through enhanced and effective physical infrastructure development (as physical connectivity), effective institutions, mechanisms and processes (as institutional connectivity) and empowered people (as people-to-people connectivity).
With an increasingly effective connectivity, we hope that trade and investment as well movement of people between countries will increase. That is because strengthening economic growth in the region is always a common priority for ASEAN. Through this growth, our region appeared to be more resilient, against the volatility of the global economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Leading up to 2015, some of the main challenges are to implement all the commitments taken to tangible benefits to our people, particularly the implementation of commitments of ASEAN’s economic agreements and maintaining our economic growth. Despite economic achievements, relative to other regions of the world, economic disparity and narrowing the development gap in ASEAN remains the biggest challenge that needs to be addressed by our governments and major stakeholders. In the meantime, the participation of a wide-range of stakeholders such as the private sectors, academicians, the media, as well as other civil society groups, of course, would benefit the process of building an ASEAN Community. This approach would be in line with our efforts to promote and bring ASEAN not only closer to its community, but also people-centred.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Having mentioned about several dynamic developments of ASEAN, it is very clear that the region has successfully developed itself from a heavily invested conflicts into more robust, dynamic and successful regional grouping, a group that has proven itself to be a resilient in facing global economic turbulence, a group that has a credible standing in addressing global affairs, a group that has shown to the global community that they are part of the solution, as a partner to the global communities to which they can count on. These successful stories, in my view, are testimony to the ability of the ASEAN members to organize, consolidate and manage themselves as an association which is moving to a community. In micro management perspective, I found that each member of ASEAN has been able to find out workable models of management that led them to achieve economic progress within itself that also contributed to the economic progress of the region. In addition, ASEAN as a group has also proven that it can manage themselves in a cohesive way vis-a-vis other global actors in pursuing and advancing the interests of its members and the interests of the region. Nevertheless, we need to bear in mind that ASEAN is so diverse, it keeps evolving, it is indeed a dynamic regional grouping that may be possibly exploring and finding "new models" of management that could provide more room for further progress, particularly in economic cooperation in the times to come.
In this respect, we hope that this seminar will play a part in finding and exploring other management models, which could be complement to the present management practices, and to identify practices best suited in ASEAN in order to further strengthen ASEAN’s business management practices.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In front us, we are fortunate to have prominent speakers, both from academics and business people who will share their perspective and views+. They are key elements in our community that have play innovative roles for the improvement of human resources and capacity building of the people of ASEAN. Hence, they should be able to consolidate the sum of knowledge in the region through stronger collaboration among educational organizations to enhance the quality of education in the region, as mandated in ASEAN Socio-cultural Community Blue Print.
Finally, I would like to wish you all the best and rewarding discussion that contributes in a forward looking manner for our continuous effort to achieve the goal of ASEAN Community 2015.
Thank you very much. Kob khun krab