ASEAN-EU FTA expected to be approved by year-end

10:52 | 05/03/2018 Cooperation

Economic ministers from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom on March 2 reached consensus on the official ratification of EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (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 16th ASEAN Economic Ministers-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations which was held on the sideline of the 24th ASEAN Economic Ministers' (AEM) Retreat in Singapore, Malmstrom stressed the two sides will work to get to the final stages for approving the important agreement, affirming that this will help expand the EU-ASEAN cooperation.

The two sides noted a progress report of the ASEAN-EU Joint Working Group on the building of a framework of the ASEAN-EU FTA in the future.

The ASEAN economic ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner asked ASEAN senior economic officials to early complete the framework basing on consultation processes in their countries, and dialogues between the two sides as well.

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

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

They also discussed global and regional economic development, and affirmed the importance to continuously foster economic collaboration between the two regions to take advantages of the global economy recovery.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, head of the Vietnamese delegation, said as a coordinator of the ASEAN-EU cooperation, Vietnam has actively promoted dialogues and information exchanges between ASEAN nations and EU to boost research and negotiations with EU on the draft framework of a future ASEAN-EU FTA.

Theo VNA