UNION Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Aung Naing Oo attended the AEM-United States Trade Representative Consultations, 5th AEM-Hong Kong Consultations, 18th AEM-India Consultations, 17th AEM-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations and 10th AEM-Russia Consultations via video conferencing started at 7:00 am from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations, Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
The Meetings were participated by ASEAN Economic Ministers, United States Trade Representative, Economic Ministers from Hong Kong (China), India, Russia, EU Trade Commissioner, ASEAN Secretary-General and officials. The Meetings were co-chaired by Dato Dr Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II of Brunie Darussalam and Trade and Economic Ministers from the respective dialogue partners.
At the AEM-United States Trade Representative Consultations, Mrs Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative and ASEAN Economic Ministers exchanged views on responses to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic between ASEAN and the United States and noted the progress of the implementation of the 2020-2021 ASEAN-U.S. Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) and Expanded Economic Engagement (E3) Work Plan.
The Ministers endorsed the TIFA E3 Work Plan (2021-2022) at the Meeting. In his statement, the Union Minister shared the progress on prevention, control and treat ment of Covid-19 and the vaccination programme in Myanmar. He also emphasized the vital role of the digital economy in the post Covid-19 economic recovery and encouraged to support the MSMEs through the reskilling and upskilling programme to apply digital technology.
The 5th AEM-Hong Kong, China Consultations were also held and Mr Edward Yau Tangwah, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development of Hong-Kong and ASEAN Economic Ministers exchanged views on the responses to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and welcomed the entry into force of the ASEAN- Hong Kong (China) Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA) and ASEAN-Hong Kong (China) Investment Agreement (AHKIA) by all parties. The Ministers endorsed the proposal to expand the new areas of cooperation: sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures; standards, technical regulations, and conformity assessment procedures (STRACAP); intellectual property; digital technology to facilitate trade; and promotion and facilitation of investment in the Work Programme and noted the progress of implementation of projects under ECOTECH Work Programme (2020-2021).
At the Meeting, the Union Minister welcomed Cambodia’s completion of the ratification process for the entry into force for AHKFTA and AHKIA and appreciated the ratification for both Agreements by all Parties. The Ministers welcomed Hong Kong’s interest in seeking accession to the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
18th AEM-India Consultations was also held in the afternoon. At the Meeting, Anupriya Patel, Minister of Commerce and Industry of India and ASEAN Economic Ministers discussed the cooperation activities to respond to the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the issues raised by the ASEAN-India Business Council and the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN-India FTA.
At the Meeting, Union Minister shared the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccination programme in Myanmar and he also updated the government’s efforts to recover the country’s economy by developing Myanmar Economic Recovery Plan (MERP) which is in line with UN SDGs and regional and sub-regional integration programmes. He also expressed thanks to India for the support of vaccines and other medical supplies.
The 17th AEM – EU Trade Commissioner Consultations was held and Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, EU Trade Commissioner and ASEAN Economic Ministers exchanged views on the role of the World Trade Organization to the responses for the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and progress on the consultation for the development of a Framework Setting Out the Parameters of a Future ASEAN-EU FTA. The Ministers endorsed ASEAN-EU Trade and Investment Work Programme 2020-2021 at the Meeting.
In his intervention, the Union Minister underscored the critical role of WTO in the post- COVID-19 pandemic recovery and the collective efforts of the countries to keep global trade flows open in order to facilitate goods and services, especially for medical supplies. In addition, he encouraged the officials to continue their discussion for the development of a Framework setting out the parameters for a future ASEAN-EU FTA especially in the areas where considerable gaps still remain between ASEAN and EU.
At the 10th AEM — Russia Consultations, H.E. Vladimir Ilyichev, Deputy Minister for Economic Development of Russia and ASEAN Economic Ministers exchanged views on responses to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in their respective countries and noted the progress of Post- 2017 ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Work Programme and Programme of Cooperation between ASEAN and Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) for 2020-2025. The Ministers endorsed the revised ASEAN- Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap and the ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Work Programme (2021-2025).
At the Meeting, the Union Minister shared the view of the importance of the cooperation activities in trade and digital economy and sustainable development under work programme for the post-COVID-19 economic recovery. The Ministers adopted the Joint Media Statements of the respective meetings.
Together with the Union Minister, Deputy Minister and Senior Officials from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations also attended the Meetings.