Written By vibykhmer on Sunday, March 1, 2009 | 1:53 AM
HUA HIN, Thailand, March 1 (Xinhua) -- The 14th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit closed here Sunday after leaders of ten member states ended their annual discussions on a series of issues including the economic crisis and signed the declaration on the roadmap for an ASEAN Community.
Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, whose country currently holds ASEAN's rotating chair, said after the conclusion of the summit that the leaders had a very productive meeting on a series of issues which matter not only to the region but to the international community as a whole.
During the two-day summit, leaders of the ASEAN member states focused their discussions on economic crisis, human rights body, ASEAN integration, and other regional issues like Myanmar and immigration.
On economic crisis, ASEAN leaders said that while ASEAN's economic fundamental remain sound, the deepening global economic downturn, coupled with heightened risk aversion in financial markets, have adversely impacted trade and investment in the region.
The leaders stressed the necessity of proactive and decisive actions to restore market confidence and ensure continued financial stability to promote sustainable regional economic growth.
They also agreed to stand firm against protectionism and to refrain from introducing and raising new barriers.
On ASEAN integration, the leaders signed Cha-am Hua Hin Declaration on the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009-2015), setting out the guidelines for the creation of a single free trade area for the region of 800 million people by 2015.
According to the declaration, the ASEAN leaders emphasized that "narrowing the development gap shall remain an important task to ensure the benefits of ASEAN integration are fully realized through effective implementation of the Initiative for ASEAN Integration and other sub-regional framework."
A total of 24 ASEAN related documents were signed or adopted by ASEAN leaders, foreign ministers and economic ministers. These documents include, among others, the issues relating to the ASEAN community building, trade and investment, sub-regional economic cooperation, food and petroleum security.
ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.