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RCEP agreement Ministers' conference and Economic-ministry level conference between ASEAN and Dialogue Partners: China, Canada, East Asia, and Hong Kong - China

08:37 - 26/09/2022

On September 17, 2022, within the framework of the 54th ASEAN Economic Ministers' Meeting, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting and the Economic Ministerial Consultations between ASEAN and its partner countries: China, Canada, East Asia, and Hong Kong - China, took place respectively in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with the participation of the Ministers of Economy of the 10 ASEAN member countries and the economic ministers of 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 economic recovery measures after the Covid-19 pandemic, the implementation of existing FTAs ​​between ASEAN and partners such as the RCEP Agreement, ASEAN - China Free Trade Area (ACFTA), Free Trade Agreement, and the Investment Agreement between ASEAN and Hong Kong, China (AHKFTA and AHKIA) and the negotiation progress of the ASEAN-Canada Free Trade Agreement.


Since the RCEP Agreement came into force on January 1, 2022, this is the first time that the ministers of the member countries participating in the RCEP Agreement have met and exchanged on the RCEP implementation and RCEP advantageous directions to promote regional economic integration. The Conference welcomed Indonesia's completion of the ratification of the RCEP Agreement and agreed on the goal of all countries completing the ratification process before the end of the year, bringing practical benefits to people in the area. In the coming time, countries will also agree on measures to promote and facilitate the implementation process, especially bringing practical benefits to small and medium enterprises in the region.


Regarding ASEAN-China cooperation, the ASEAN Ministers and China agreed to adopt the ASEAN-China Ministerial Joint Statement on Post-Covid-19 Economic Recovery Cooperation and the Feasibility Study Report on strengthening the ASEAN - China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) in order to provide orientation and scope for negotiations to upgrade the ACFTA Agreement in the near future.


With Canada, the Ministers noted the implementation of the Work Plan for the Implementation of the ASEAN-Canada Joint Statement on Trade and Investment, which focuses on SMEs development support activities in ASEAN, and the implementation of the first negotiation session of the ASEAN - Canada Free Trade Agreement in August 2022.


The ministers of the ASEAN +3 countries (including China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea) recognized and welcomed the progress made in the implementation of the ASEAN +3 Action Plan on mitigating the economic impact of COVID-19 pandemic as well as the ASEAN +3 Economic Cooperation Working Program 2021-2022. On that basis, the Ministers approved the Working Program on Economic Cooperation for the period of 2023-2024 and encouraged countries to further strengthen cooperation to improve trade and investment flows, support business micro, small and medium enterprises, digital transformation, trade facilitation, supply chain connectivity, etc.


For Hong Kong, China, the Ministers noted Hong Kong, China's interest in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and announced that the Joint Committee for the Implementation of the RCEP Agreement would discuss this issue when the terms of accession to the RCEP Agreement take effect in the near future.


In addition, within the framework of the above conferences, the Ministers spent time talking with representative business councils (East Asian Business Council - EABC, etc.) to discuss related cooperation activities, and recommendations of the Business Councils to promote trade and investment in the region, and support economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.


Participating in discussions at the above 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 Vietnam particularly, and ASEAN generally, 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 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.





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