ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting to add "finishing touches" to the formal launch of AEC single market

Economic Ministers of the 10 ASEAN  member states meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from 22 to 25 August to put the finishing touches to the formal establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by the end of this year.

Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry Malaysia will chair the 47th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Meeting that is expected to deliberate on, among others: the implementation of the AEC measures, especially the completion of commitments agreed to under the AEC 2015 Blueprint; the work on developing the ASEAN Post-2015 Economic Vision 2025 and strategic action plans for the next 10 years; and development of the ASEAN SME Master Plan 2016-2025.

The AEC seeks to formally establish a single market and production base among the 10 Member States of ASEAN.

"The eventual integration of national economies into a single regional bloc is expected to facilitate the creation of a seamless trade and investment regime in ASEAN. It will also propel ASEAN's economy, whose GDP currently is estimated at $2.7 trillion, into a global powerhouse, with GDP expected to rise to a combined $4.7 trillion by 2020," Dato' Sri Mustapa said.

He will also chair the ASEAN Economic Ministers Consultations with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners.

Economic ministers from Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States of America will be participating in the meetings with the ASEAN Economic Ministers.

The ASEAN Economic Ministers will also be meeting with representatives from the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC), the East Asia Business Council (EABC), the Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN (FJCCIA), the US-ASEAN Business Council (USABC), the Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) and the ASEAN-India Business Council.

In addition, the EU-ASEAN Business Summit and the East Asia Investment Forum will be held on 23 and 24 August 2015, respectively.

The meetings will include discussions on enhancing economic linkages with ASEAN Dialogue and Sectoral Partners which include progress in the enhancement and upgrade of ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement; the conclusion of the trade in services and investment chapters of the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement; further improvements to the ASEAN-Korea Free Trade Agreement; ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement Economic Cooperation Support Programme; ratification and entry into force of the ASEAN-India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements; progress of the implementation of the ASEAN-Russia Trade and Investment Cooperation Roadmap; ASEAN-US Trade and Investment Agreement and Expanded Economic Engagement Initiatives; and the ASEAN-Canada Joint Declaration on Trade and Investment Work Plan 2014-2015.