ASEAN Summit to be held in February in Bangkok news
05 January 2009

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, which was postponed earlier, is now likely be held in Bangkok tentatively between 13 February and 16 February.

The Thai Prime Minister's Office said that it was awaiting a nod to the proposed dates from the Chinese government.

However, the exact date of the summit, originally scheduled to be held in Bangkok this month, has yet to be finally confirmed as Thailand is still awaiting confirmation of the proposed date from the Chinese government.

Except for the Chinese government, ASEAN members countries Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have already confirmed they are prepared to attend the summit on the proposed dates, .

The summit was originally scheduled for January, but the political strife that led to the closure of Bangkok's two international airports forced a change in schedules.

The revised summit schedule was announced one day after the Thai parliament, chose Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva, as its  new prime minister.

The announcement of the summit took concrete shape after the signing of the Asean charter in Jakarta in December 2008 by 10 ASEAN countries. The newly elected Thai prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said that he wanted to prepone the delayed summit from the earlier proposed date in March to February.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN was established in 1967 in Bangkok almost 41 years of existence with an aims to accelerate economic growth, regional peace and stability. However, the ASEAN charter formed a six-year programme to accelerate trade liberalisation and regional integration, forming of an EU-style single market creating the world's largest free-trade area by 2010 and for geopolitical reasons.

The Asean charter forges an economic alliance enabling them to be in a much better bargaining position to transact business with giant competitors such as India, Japan and China.

Southeast Asian countries also signed deals with China at the December meet.

ASEAN summit date and venue have been changed so repeatedly and with little publicity organized by the Thai government coupled with slow disbursement of cash for organising the summit has made the Thai PM step in, to look into the matter.

Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva plans to discuss with his ministers during a cabinet meeting on 6 January the possibility of raising budget to spend on publicity campaigns, said Mr. Satit Wongnongtaey, Minister to the Prime Minister's Office.

The members have already lined up 33 important meeting and other documents ready to be signed during the summit,  that will be given to the Cabinet for its consideration, according to permanent secretary for foreign affairs Veerasak Footrakul.

The impact of the global crisis and recession and its effect on deteriorating economic situation in the region are prompting Asean governments to hold the summit early.

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ASEAN Summit to be held in February in Bangkok