Malaysia's leader: ASEAN seen growing to 4th-largest economy

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Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak says Southeast Asia's 10-member grouping could comprise the world's fourth-largest economy by 2030, but countries must work to ensure integration, bring down rising tariff barriers and expand e-commerce to benefit small enterprises that form the region's economic backbone.

He said at a business forum Friday on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders' summit that ASEAN economies are expected to grow to $9.2 trillion by 2050, making it the fourth-largest economy in the world. He says more optimistic forecasts see that happening by 2030.

He says as of November 2015, the region's economy was close to $2.7 trillion, the world's seventh-largest.