ASEAN ministers to hasten implementation of initiatives for regional recovery
07 Sep 2021
The economic ministers of ASEAN will reconvene through the virtual 35th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Meeting on Sept 8-15, 2021, to push for quicker implementation of the initiatives under the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework (ACRF), Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said.
The initiatives to be deliberated on include the signing and ratification of several mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs), including the signing of the ASEAN MRA on Building and Construction Materials and ratification of the ASEAN MRA on Type Approval of Automotive Products, MITI said.
“The progress of ratification of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement is also expected to be deliberated,” it said in a statement released today.
Senior Minister and MITI Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali will continue to lead the Malaysian delegation at the AEM Meeting, which is being held under the chairmanship of Brunei in 2021.
“Along with these, emphasis will also be given to the progress of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the implementation of non-tariff measures on essential goods signed in November 2020 by the ministers,” the ministry said.
In March this year, the AEM concurred that expeditious ratification and entry-into-force of ASEAN economic agreements could fast track the economic recovery of the region.
To this end, MITI said, the ministers had tasked the senior economic officials to develop a set of guidelines in collaboration with legal experts, on appropriate and reasonable provisions that could be used to expedite the entry-into-force of future economic agreements.
“The ministers are expected to be further briefed on the progress of this task at this meeting,” it added.
Another anticipated focus area at this AEM Meeting is on the digital transformation in ASEAN where the ministers are expected to endorse the Bandar Seri Begawan Roadmap: An ASEAN Digital Transformation Agenda to Accelerate ASEAN’s Economic Recovery and Digital Economy Integration.
MITI said the ministers are also scheduled to undertake consultations with ASEAN Dialogue Partners – the United States, India, China, the European Union, Russia, South Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand. Switzerland, and Hong Kong/ China to continue with their collaborative work beyond the ASEAN region.
They will welcome the United Kingdom for the first consultation session, after the country’s conferment as ASEAN’s newest dialogue partner in August this year.