ASEAN to remain committed to open trade

This was stated by Minister Gan Kim Yong in the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting.

Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong reassured in his speech during the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting held from 8 to 15 September, that ASEAN will remain committed to free and open trade.

“ASEAN remains fully committed to free and open trade and deepening regional economic integration, especially amidst the challenging backdrop posed by COVID-19. As the region emerges from the pandemic, it is important to leverage new growth opportunities in areas such as digitalisation and sustainability, so that we entrench ASEAN as an attractive trade and investment proposition for our global partners.”

Topics covered by the meetings include supply chains and the ease of business in the region, the implementation of Non-Tariff Measures (NTM), and the amending of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement. The completion of the ASEAN Investment Facilitation Framework was also discussed. Overall, these aim to reduce the costs of business in the region. 

The endorsement of the “Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: An ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration” was also completed during the meeting. This includes a plan for a multi-year roadmap of ASEAN’s digital integration and connectivity from 2021 to 2025.

The Framework on Circular Economy was also completed, which focuses on opportunities and challenges of a circular economy.

On 13 to 15 September, ASEAN is slated to meet with dialogue partners which include Australia, China, the European Union, Hong Kong, India, Japan and the Republic of Korea. The primary areas of discussion will revolve around the responses to the economic effect of COVID-19 and areas of cooperation for recovery.

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