JAKARTA (Xinhua) — The economic crises in the United States and Europe will likely affect ASEAN countries, whether directly or not, through foreign direct investment and third- party trade, the Jakarta Post quoted a top official as saying on Wednesday.

“(The crisis) will certainly have some implications for us, maybe not in the short term; but in the long term, it will have a negative impact,” ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told the daily in an interview.

He said that ASEAN’s economic ministers, as well as their counterparts from dialogue partners, would consult with each other about possible actions they might undertake to anticipate how the current (economic) turmoil is affecting ASEAN’s efforts toward integration in building the Economic Community.

Pitsuwan said that ASEAN’s exports to the United States would be “further dampened” due to the crisis.

“Some of the markets in the region are also being affected, like South Korea, which is more exposed to the U.S. economy,” he said.

“This negative impact will affect us because South Korea is our dialogue and FTA (free trade agreement) partner,” he said.

Ten ministers from ASEAN countries, as well as commerce and industry ministers from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, are meeting this week in North Sulawesi provincial capital city of Manado, for an ASEAN Economic Ministers ‘ Meeting (AEM).