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On August 22, 2023, within the framework of the 55th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting, Economic Ministerial-level Consultation Meetings between ASEAN and its partners including Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Japan and the Plus Three countries (China, Japan and Korea) took place in Semarang, Indonesia respectively, with the participation of the ASEAN Economic Ministers and the economic ministers of each partner country. The Vietnamese delegation attended the meeting, including representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Ministry of Finance.
At the ASEAN Economic Ministers' Consultation Meeting with Australia and New Zealand, the countries welcomed the signing of the Second Protocol amending the Agreement establishing the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA) between four countries: Indonesia (ASEAN Chair 2023), Brunei (coordinator of ASEAN-Australia- New Zealand economic relations), Australia and New Zealand, and noted that the remaining members will sign after completing their domestic procedures. In addition, the Ministers also noted the implementation of the AANZFTA Agreement and the implementation of the agreement's economic cooperation program.
Regarding ASEAN-Korea relations, in preparation for the review and upgrade of the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement (AKFTA), the Ministers noted the Joint Review Study Report (JRS) on the AKFTA Agreement, focusing on assessing the implementation of AKFTA in countries, comparing AKFTA with existing or new FTAs in force in the region. In addition, the parties also noted the implementation of cooperation projects and initiatives within the framework of economic cooperation between ASEAN and Korea.
The ASEAN-Japan Economic Ministers' Meeting focused on discussing initiatives to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan friendship and cooperation and the implementation status of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The meeting also noted recommendations from the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA), the ASEAN-Japan Business Council (AJBC) and the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO).
At the ASEAN Plus Three Economic Ministers' Consultation Meeting, the Ministers noted the implementation progress of the ASEAN Plus Three Economic Cooperation Program 2023-2024, including activities and recommendations from the ASEAN Center- China, the ASEAN-Japan Center and the ASEAN-Korea Center, to facilitate ASEAN Plus Three economic and trade cooperation. The Ministers also took note the recommendations of the East Asian Business Council (EABC).
Attending the aforementioned meetings, Vietnam welcomed the results achieved in the implementation of economic cooperation programs between ASEAN and its partners, and affirmed that Vietnam will continue to coordinate with ASEAN and foreign partners in the coming time with the aim of strengthening regional supply chains and sustainable economic development.
The aforementioned meetings successfully concluded the series of 55th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting and related meetings taking place in Semarang, Indonesia from August 18-22, 2023.