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Enhanced ASEAN cooperation seen as leaders meet Jan 10-15 in Cebu city


CEBU CITY (9 January) -- Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are expected to forge an agreement on various initiatives that will further bolster regional cooperation, peace, stability, and economic development when they meet here on Jan. 10-15.

With the theme "One Caring and Sharing Community," the 12th ASEAN Summit is set to tackle proposals for closer regional cooperation in various fronts and enhanced people-to-people contact in the region of more than one-half billion people.
Senior foreign and economic officials of the ASEAN will meet on Jan.10-11 ahead of the leaders' summit and reprise agreements and discussions on forging a single ASEAN
Community, akin to the European Community model, by 2015 or five years ahead of the original plan.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, co-chair of the ASEAN National Organizing Committee, declared "it's all systems go" for the ASEAN Summit.
One positive outcome of the one-month postponement of the summit was that it enabled the Cebu provincial government, the Cebuanos and others concerned to further fine-tune the various aspects of the preparations for the high-level gathering of ASEAN leaders and their dialogue partners, she said.
The lady provincial executive added that the resetting of the summit also enabled the local government to carry out the finishing touches to the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC), the venue of the opening ceremonies of the 12th ASEAN Summit and other Summit activities.
"The one-month postponement gave us more time to improve, enhance and beautify (CICC) even more.
So, we are very ready for the 12th ASEAN Summit," Garcia said.
Other meetings of the ASEAN leaders will be held at the Shangri-La's Mactan Island Resort and Spa.
Aside from the ASEAN Summit itself, the ASEAN leaders will hold other Summits, including the annual ASEAN sub-regional grouping summits such as the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asia Growth Area, the Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle and the Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam Grouping.
The ASEAN leaders will also hold four separate summits, ASEAN Plus Three Summit and the 2nd East Asia Summit. (PIA)

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