Asean multinational enterprises (AMEs) would help strengthen regional economic growth amid the global economic downturn, the meeting agreed.
Besides boosting economic growth for the 10-nation grouping, AMEs could help attract other investors to the region, the meeting was told.
Intra-Asean foreign direct investment (FDI) grew 18.4 per cent to US$11.1 billion (Bt378 billion) last year, which was still far less than the $60.2 billion invested by multinationals from outside the region.
FDI in China reached $80 billion last year.
Surin said promoting internal investment would also enhance Asean's competitiveness with other countries.
To facilitate investment growth within Asean, member governments must focus on developing infrastructure and logistics across the region.
To help Asean's export sector cope with the global financial crisis, Asean should also focus on new markets.
Surin called financial facilitation a key goal for Asean governments. Asean credit agencies should work together to increase financial injections to Asean exporters, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.
Surin also said Asean would establish a working committee to conduct a feasibility study into moving forward with the proposed Asean+6 free-trade agreement between the grouping and partners China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.
An initial study showed if ratified, the FTA would increase economic growth within the Asean+6 countries by 3.8 per cent. The combined gross domestic product of the Asean+6 countries is $2.75 trillion.
To strengthen trade growth within Asean, the AEM Meeting is also considering an Asean Customs Union and setting up trade facilities, including developing rules of origin to provide online certification for Asean traders.