ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
ASEAN/WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is expected to stress the dynamism of Asean in contributing towards the larger Asian community at this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) here, Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said.
In a briefing on the prime minister's engagements at the WEF, he said Abdullah was expected to emphasise the need to think regionally and collectively as Asean, a region comprising about 500 million people from 10 member countries, at a plenary session on Friday.
Asean's growth since 1967 and its progress towards greater economic integration, with an estimated gross domestic product (GDP) of US$700 billion and total trade of US$850 billion, have been viewed favourably by many from outside the region.
Syed Hamid said Abdullah was expected to inform world and business leaders on Malaysia's economic and political developments in his bilateral meetings with them.
He said it was important that they be given the right information.
Of special significance would be the country's strategy in developing regional economic corridors, he added.
In the past few months, Abdullah had launched the Iskandar Development Region in Johor, the Northern Corridor Economic Region comprising the states of Penang, Kedah, and Perlis and northern area of northern state of Perak. The East Coast Economic Region consisting the states of Kelantan, Terengganu, Pahang and Mersing area in the southern state of Johor.
Abdullah is expected to launch the Sabah Development Corridor, covering the whole state, on Jan 29.
Syed Hamid also said that Malaysia would host an international conference in Kuala Lumpur on June 9 and 10 as part of its efforts to bridge the understanding gap between the East and the West.
"It is part of our contribution to foster partnership, to bring about closer cooperation (between the East and West)," he said.
This will be the third time that Malaysia is hosting such an event which will touch on various issues, including religious and cultural matters, by drawing scholars and experts in an effort to promote greater understanding