Published: 1/03/2009 at 12:58 PM
Asean leaders have committed firmly to free trade and cooperation in dealing with economic difficulties arising from the global economic downturn, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said at the end of the 14th Asean summit on Sunday.
"We will do whatever we can to make sure that no countries resort to protectionist measures to try to ease their way out of the crisis," Mr Abhisit said at an end-of-summit press conference.
"Because we know if that happens, if all countries begin to join in, then it’s everybody’s loss."
The leaders agreed to alert each other if they encounter any protectionist measures.
All Asean members were committed to informing each other of individual economic policies, coordinating through the Asean Secretariat, the prime minister said.
The leaders would contribute to the strengthening of the economy in the region through sub-regional agreements and cooperation.
The leaders encouraged the Burmese government to strengthen national unity and to contribute to ensuring peace and prosperity in the country.
The ruling Burmese junta was also encouraged to continue the release of political detainees.
Problems relating to the illegal migrants on the Indian Ocean would be addressed further at the Bali Process meeting next month, Mr Abhisit said.