The Sun Daily; November 16, 2015. Kuala Lumpur – US president Barack Obama will be among the big names who will be here this week to attend the 27th annual Asean meeting between Nov 18 and 22. Other leaders who have confirmed attendance include Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.
During the meeting to be held at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, Asean and its six partner countries are expected to announce a trade initiative called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) after member states put the final touches in.
The RCEP combines 10 Asean countries and China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand and is aimed to reduce tariffs for trade in goods and is expected to come into force next year, before the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The RCEP was launched in November 2012 with the aim of establishing deeper economic cooperation between the countries concerned and if it is successfully signed, the agreement is expected to create an economic bloc with a combined population of 3.5 billion.
Also, according to Umno Wanita chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, the joint recommendations from the Asean Conference on Women In Politics (Asean WIP KL2015) will also be tabled during the summit.
Among the recommendations, according to Shahrizat was to enhance connectivity and innovation among Asean’s women politicians.
A total 121 delegates from 24 political parties participated in the inaugural WIP KL2015, themed Promoting Representation through Connectivity and Innovation.
The conference was opened by the prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and was aimed at creating a political network for Asean women involved in politics.
Asean leaders will also evaluate the implementation of a Roadmap for an Asean Community (AC) to be established late this year and put forward measures to enhance connectivity and promote Asean’s role in the region.
The inaugural visit by the Chinese Premier to Malaysia is also expected to further enhance mutual trust between both countries and also propel the comprehensive strategic partnership to a new high.
The official visit was at the invitation of Najib and the duo are expected to hold bilateral talks in respect of bilateral relations and issues of common concern.
Meanwhile, in the wake of the recent Paris attacks, security will be tightened around the city during the summit while authorities were closely monitoring intelligence channels to ensure that the country remained safe.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had said there will be no compromise and security forces have been mobilised to face any threat