ASEAN to continue discussion for ASEAN common time zone


KOTA KINABALU, Jan 28 – ASEAN will continue to consider a common time zone for ASEAN capitals, says Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman.

Speaking to reporters after chairing the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat here Wednesday, he said the matter was discussed during today’s meeting as “there were many strong reasons to have a common time zone”.

“This is not a new idea. This was brought up by our leaders, as early as 1995, and they discussed it again around 2004.

“With ASEAN forming an intergrated and cohesive community by the end of this year, we believe a common time zone for ASEAN capitals is an idea worth considering,” he said.

Among the benefits of a common time zone for the region involve strengthening business links and inter-governmental cooperation among ASEAN and Asian countries.

Besides that, a common time zone will allow more time for communication purposes, tally the stock market activities, enhance airlines operational system and upgrade the business and banking linkages around the Asian region.

Malaysia has taken over the ASEAN chairmanship for 2015, from Myamnar.

The two-day retreat which ended today, is the curtain-raiser for a series of ministerial and related meetings under Malaysia’s ASEAN chairmanship this year.

Malaysia has mentioned the idea of a common time zone for ASEAN during a panel session at the World Economic Forum Summit in Davos on Jan 24.

In that session, Malaysia said a common time zone was important towards realising the ASEAN Economic Community.