JAKARTA (Xinhua) – ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan on Monday urged leaders of the organization’s member states to quickly implement the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint to accelerate economic growth and close gap between them.

“Out of total, we have ratified 68 percent of the blueprint such as on ASEAN Open Sky and transshipment policy. However, I appeal that the work should not stop in ratification as we have to make them in reality and implementation. If we want to reach the community, we must implement them, not just stopping at ratification. We need to close the gap for equitable economic development,” Pitsuwan told participants of the Post 20th ASEAN Summit and Related Meetings Briefing at the ASEAN Secretariat.

He called on legislative bodies, ministries and related institutions to help materialize them.

The secretary general said that the regions must maintain strong relation and cooperation with its dialogue partners, especially from East Asia.

Chairman’s statement of the 20th ASEAN Summit on April 3-4 reiterated commitment of member states to exert maximum effort and ensure timely implementation of the AEC Blueprint measures towards establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

“This would include commitment to undertake the much needed reforms to remove impediments to ensure the implementation of intra-and extra-ASEAN agreements, as well as to strengthen our respective national coordination to effectively implement our AEC Blueprint commitments across various ministries and agencies,” it said.