ASEAN, US look for stronger trade cooperation

11:16 | 27/08/2015 Cooperation

The Consultations between ASEAN Economic Ministers and US Trade Representative (AEM-USTR) took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on August 24 within the framework of the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers ' Meeting and related meetings.

ASEAN, US look for stronger trade cooperation

ASEAN economic ministers and their US counterparts at the Consultations (Source: VNA)

The consultations, chaired by Malaysian Minister of International Trade and Industry Mustapa Mohamed and US Trade Representative Michael Froman, reviewed the implementation of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) between ASEAN and the US.

Participants also discussed works related to the US-ASEAN Expanded Economic Engagement ( E3 ) initiative in 2015, focusing on general principles on international trade and commercial disciplines of information and communication technology (ICT) and those concerning transparency, in order to boost bilateral investment ties and create favourable investment climate for both sides.

The two sides agreed that ASEAN needs to regularly update the US business community on its efforts in creating a borderless trade and investment area.

During the consultations, the ASEAN Ministers met with the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), during which USABC representatives revealed US enterprises’ perception of the formation of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of this year.

USABC called for a stronger integration from ASEAN member nations, saying that the move will help not only attract large groups but also promote development of small-and medium-sized enterprises in the region.

Trade and investment between ASEAN and the US has seen a sharp growth in the recent time. The US is now the third largest investor of ASEAN, pumping 54 billion USD into the region in 2010-2014. It is ASEAN’s fourth largest trade partner, accounting for 8.4 percent of the group’s global market share in 2014 with over 212 billion USD in commodities traded.

The US also provided its assistance to ASEAN through the project “ ASEAN Connectivity through Trade and Investment” funded by the US Agency for International Development, which aims to accelerate the establishment of AEC and further foster bilateral economic relations between the two sides./.

Source: VNA