YANGON, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar President U Htin Kyaw on Tuesday called for doubling efforts to make ASEAN region more politically cohesive, economically integrated, socially responsible and people-oriented over the next 50 years.
U Htin Kyaw made the remarks on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which Myanmar joined in 1997.
He urged ASEAN members to continue and expand engagement with global partners, which he noted as the driver to promote the community's growth over the coming years, to improve the livelihood of ASEAN citizens.
He expressed confidence to see the engagement will be realized through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which is expected to be finalized by the end of this year.
However, he warned of many challenges ahead of the goals, calling for counteracting the forces of the rise globally and regionally of populism, anti-globalization, terrorism, violent extremism and socio-economic uncertainties.
He urged for participation of his country people, especially women and youth, to strive for expediting regional integration, pushing forward with next phase of consolidation and cohesiveness to make ASEAN a more open, peaceful, inclusive, resilient and prosperous region.
This year's ASEAN anniversary is marked with the theme of "Partnering for Change, Engaging the World."