Myanmar's Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin, in his opening statement, said priorities during his country's chairmanship will include the implementation of the Asean Community by 2015, the promotion of small and medium enterprises as prime movers for economic development, and discussions on narrowing the development gaps within and among the member states.
The minister said the meeting in Bagan will provide "an opportunity to look at matters of strategic importance to Asean, to prioritise and coordinate activities for 2014, to review the current regional and international issues and to follow up on the outcomes of the 23rd Asean summit (held last year)."
He said the member states of the bloc not only need to accomplish the remaining tasks to successfully build the Asean Community by 2015 as targeted, but should also formulate a clear vision for the community in the coming years, a goal which has been dubbed the Asean Community Post-2015 Vision.
"I am confident that we will have a very fruitful and productive meeting today," Wunna Maung Lwin said.
Myanmar took over the Asean chairmanship from Brunei on Jan 1, following political reforms in the former junta-run country that have paved the way for it to re-engage with the international community.