ASEAN-EU FTA expected to be approved by year-end
Updated : Saturday, March 03, 2018 9:24 AM (GMT+0700)

Economicministers from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on March 2 reachedconsensus on the official ratification of EU-ASEAN Free TradeAgreement (ASEAN-EU FTA) by the end of 2018.

Participants attend the 16th ASEAN Economic Ministers-European Union Trade Commissioner
Consultations in Singapore on March 2, 2018 - Source: Xinhua

Speaking at the 16thASEAN Economic Ministers-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations which was held on thesideline of the 24th ASEAN Economic Ministers' (AEM) Retreat inSingapore, Malmstrom stressed the two sides will work to get to the finalstages for approving the important agreement, affirming that this will helpexpand the EU-ASEAN cooperation. 

The two sides noted aprogress report of the ASEAN-EU Joint Working Group on the building of aframework of the ASEAN-EU FTA in the future. 

The ASEAN economic ministersand the EU Trade Commissioner asked ASEAN senior economic officials toearly complete the framework basing on consultation processes in theircountries, and dialogues between the two sides as well.

The economic chiefs thankedthe EU for its support in implementing programmes and initiatives under theASEAN Regional Integration Support (ARISE) project, and the CapacityBuilding Project for Monitoring Integration Progress and Statistics(COMPASS) programme. 

The two sides agreed thatthe success of the projects will contribute to strengthening trade ties betweenthe two regions. 

They also discussed globaland regional economic development, and affirmed the importance to continuouslyfoster economic collaboration between the two regions to take advantages of theglobal economy recovery. 

Deputy Minister of Industryand Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, head of the Vietnamese delegation, said as acoordinator of the ASEAN-EU cooperation, Vietnam has actively promoteddialogues and information exchanges between ASEAN nations and EU to boostresearch and negotiations with EU on the draft framework of a future ASEAN-EUFTA.


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