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On September 16, 2022, within the framework of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting, Economic Ministerial Consultations between ASEAN and partner countries India, Russia, and South Korea took place in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with the participation of the Economic Ministers of 10 ASEAN member countries and Economic Ministers of the ASEAN Dialogue Partners. The Vietnamese delegation attended the conferences including representatives of the Ministries of Industry and Trade, Foreign Affairs, Planning and Investment, led by Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Hong Dien.
At the meeting, ASEAN ministers and partners discussed the recent regional and global economic situation and predictions for 2023, shared information, and updated the implementation of measures to improve the situation. Economic recovery measures after the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of current FTAs between ASEAN and its external partners such as the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA), and the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement – Korea (AKFTA).
ASEAN and India Ministers have agreed to adopt the Scope Document of the ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA) with the aim of upgrading the Agreement in a more business-friendly direction, thereby promoting further promote trade between ASEAN and India, as well as strengthening regional supply chains and better respond to current global and regional challenges. This is considered an important step, achieved after careful discussion and preparation by the two sides. It is expected that after completing the upgrade process, the AITIGA Agreement will be an important legal framework to help strongly promote economic-trade relations between ASEAN and India.
The ASEAN Ministers and the Russian Ministers noted the implementation of the Working Program on Investment Cooperation between ASEAN and the Russian Federation for the period 2021-2025, the Cooperation Program between ASEAN and the Economic Commission for Asia- Europe in the period 2020 - 2025, and at the same time discussed areas of strategic economic cooperation in the coming time.
The Economic Ministers of ASEAN and the Republic of Korea noted the implementation situation and discussed orientations for negotiations to upgrade the AKFTA Agreement. In addition, the Ministers also noted cooperation activities between the two sides in recent years such as the Technology Solutions and Consulting Program from Korea (TASK), the initiative to establish the ASEAN Industrial Innovation Center- Korea (AKIIC), the feasibility study for the establishment of the ASEAN-Korea Standardization Joint Research Center (AKSRC), etc. The ministers also listened to the ASEAN-Korea Business Council (AKBC) recommend new initiatives and proposals on capacity building for small and medium enterprises and cooperation in the industrial sector.
Participating in discussions at the mentioned conferences, Vietnam has actively contributed ideas on the direction of economic cooperation between ASEAN and its foreign partners in the coming time in order to achieve practical benefits for South Vietnam in particular, and ASEAN in general, such as strengthening regional supply chains and sustainable economic development in the context of unpredictable changes in the regional and world economies.
The results of the above meetings will contribute to the overall success of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and related conferences.
Multilateral Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade.