On 1st January 2015, Malaysia has taken over the chairmanship of ASEAN from Myanmar. In a ceremony held in Myanmar, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak stated that Malaysia’s job is “to make Asean as close as possible to the people,” adding that Asean needed a more effective communications plan to create awareness among the people. One major task, according to Najib, will be the implementation of the Asean Economic Community (AEC), which aims to create a single market and production base. The AEC programme therefore includes the reduction or elimination of tariffs, progressive liberalisation and the removal of barriers to trade and services. As a second main agenda of Malaysia’s chairmanship, Najib named the development of the region’s 10-year post-integration plan to guide ASEAN’s growth from 2016 to 2025.
In a speech held during the handing-over ceremony in Myanmar in November 2014, Najib also said that Malaysia, as chairman, would promote moderation in order to find solutions to issues concerning regional peace and security.
The next Asean Summit will take place at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) on April 26 and 27.