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On September 18, 2022, within the framework of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting, Economic Ministerial Consultations between ASEAN and its partner countries: the United States, the European Union, Japan, and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand conferences took place in Siem Reap, Cambodia, respectively, with the participation of the Economic Ministers of 10 ASEAN member countries and the 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.
The ASEAN Economic Ministers and the US Trade Representative noted the implementation of economic cooperation activities between ASEAN and the US within the framework of the ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), and the Expanded Economic Cooperation (E3) Initiative 2021-2022 as well as US technical assistance activities in the ASEAN-US Connectivity Programs, Inclusive Growth in ASEAN through Innovation, Commerce, and E-commerce (IGNITE). The conference approved the TIFA Agreement Work Program and the E3 Initiative for the period 2022-2023. As the leading trading partner of the United States in the region, Vietnam actively supports and contributes to the implementation of initiatives agreed upon by ASEAN and the United States. Vietnam also called on the US to cooperate more strongly in a number of areas where both ASEAN and the US have potential such as energy transformation, digital transformation, etc.
At the Consultation Meeting between ASEAN Economic Ministers and the European Union, the Ministers discussed the possibility of implementing cooperation activities in areas of mutual benefit such as supply chain linkages, etc., e-commerce, green technology, green services, etc. At the same time, the Ministers approved the Working Program on Trade and Investment for the period of 2022 - 2023. This is considered to be an ambitious program, expressing the desire to strengthen cooperation between ASEAN and the European Union in the context of many complicated international developments that are causing difficulties for the economies of both sides, yet the need for cooperation in areas such as trade, investment, climate change, and energy transition, etc. are demanding countries to further strengthen cooperation relations.
Toward the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan Friendship and Cooperation in 2023, the ASEAN and Japan Ministers carefully reviewed the implementation of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. (AJCEP) as well as the implementation of ASEAN-Japan economic cooperation activities in such frameworks as the ASEAN-Japan Economic Recovery Action Plan, and the 10-year Roadmap for ASEAN -Japan Strategic Economic Partnership, etc., and discussed new Japanese proposals for 2023 such as the Action Plan towards “Future Model and Action Plan for the ASEAN-Japan Economic Partnership Bright creation and sustainability” as well as the “ASEAN-Japan Economic Co-creation Vision” Project.
At the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Economic Ministers Consultation Meeting, the Ministers focused on discussing the status of negotiations to upgrade the ASEAN-Australia–New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZFTA) to ensure that this Agreement, after being upgraded, will continue to be meaningful and create added value for trade, investment, and business relations between the parties. The Ministers agreed to make every effort to basically conclude negotiations to upgrade the Agreement in 2022 as this is one of Cambodia's priority economic cooperation initiatives in the 2022 ASEAN Chair year. Besides, the Ministers also noted the implementation of the Economic Cooperation Support Program in the AANZFTA Agreement. Participating in the above conferences, Vietnam has actively contributed ideas on the direction of economic cooperation between ASEAN, Australia, and New Zealand in the coming time in order to achieve the goal of achieving this goal. practical benefits for Vietnam in particular and ASEAN in general. Regarding the upgrade of the AANZFTA Agreement, Vietnam emphasized the importance of focusing on upgrading content that brings real added value to all parties, helping to strengthen regional supply chains and contribute to the Post-Covid-19 economic recovery and promote sustainable development.
Within the framework of the above meetings, the Ministers spent time talking with representative business councils (ASEAN Business Council - Japan - AJBC, ASEAN Business Council - European Union - EUABC, ASEAN Business Council – United Kingdom – UKABC, ASEAN Business Council – USA – USABC, Australian Chamber of Commerce, ASEAN Business Council – New Zealand) to discuss related cooperation activities as well as recommendations of the business community to promote trade and investment in the region, support economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Participating in discussions at the above conferences, Vietnam actively contributed ideas on the direction of economic cooperation between ASEAN and its foreign partners in the coming time as well as the upgrade of the AANZFTA Agreement in order to achieve practical benefits for Vietnam in particular and ASEAN in general, such as strengthening regional supply chains and sustainable economic development in the context of the changing world economy and being negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The above meetings have successfully concluded a series of events within the framework of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting and related meetings taking place from September 11 to 18, 2022.
Multilateral Trade Policy Department, Ministry of Industry and Trade.