The Governments of Brunei Darussalam (“Brunei Darussalam”), the Kingdom of Cambodia (“Cambodia”), the Republic of Indonesia (“Indonesia”), the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Lao PDR”), Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar (“Myanmar”), the Republic of the Philippines (“Philippines”), the Republic of Singapore (“Singapore”), the Kingdom of Thailand (“Thailand”) and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (“Viet Nam”), Member Countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (collectively, “ASEAN” or “ASEAN Member Countries”, or individually, “ASEAN Member Country”), and the People’s Republic of China (“China”),
RECALLING the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Co-operation (“the Framework Agreement”) between ASEAN and China (collectively, “the Parties”, or individually referring to an ASEAN Member Country or to China as a “Party”) signed by the Heads of Government/State of ASEAN Member Countries and China in Phnom Penh on the 4th day of November 2002;
RECALLING Articles 4 and 8(3) of the Framework Agreement on conclusion as expeditiously as possible of the negotiations of the agreement on trade in services so as to progressively liberalise and eliminate substantially all discrimination and/or prohibition of new or more discriminatory measures with respect to trade in services between the Parties, and to expand the depth and scope of such trade with substantial sectoral coverage beyond those undertaken by the ASEAN Member Countries and China under the World Trade Organisation (“WTO”) General Agreement on Trade in Services;
STRIVING to enhance co-operation in services between the Parties in order to improve efficiency and competitiveness, as well as to diversify the supply and distribution of services of the respective service suppliers of the Parties, for implementation in accordance with the timeframes to be mutually agreed by the Parties to the Framework Agreement taking into account the sensitive sectors of the Parties, and with special and differential treatment and flexibility for the newer ASEAN Member Countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam;
RECOGNISING the right of the Parties to regulate, and to introduce new regulations, on the supply of services in the territories of the Parties in order to meet national policy objectives and, given asymmetries existing with respect to the degree of development of services regulation within the Parties, the particular need of the Parties to exercise this right,
HAVE AGREED AS FOLLOWS:
PART I: DEFINITIONS AND SCOPE
For the purposes of this Agreement:
PART II: OBLIGATIONS AND DISCIPLINES
Article III of the GATS is, mutatis mutandis, incorporated into and shall form an integral part of this Agreement.
Article III bis of the GATS is, mutatis mutandis, incorporated into and shall form an integral part of this Agreement.
Where a Party is in serious balance of payments and external financial difficulties or threat thereof, it may adopt or maintain restrictions on trade in services in accordance with Article XII of the GATS.
Subject to the requirement that such measures are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between Parties where like conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction on trade in services, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prevent the adoption or enforcement by any Party of measures:
Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed:
Subject to any future agreements as may be agreed pursuant to reviews of this Agreement by the Parties under Article 27, the Parties hereby agree and reaffirm their commitments to abide by the provisions of the WTO agreements as are relevant and applicable to trade in services.
The Parties shall strengthen cooperation efforts in services sectors, including sectors which are not covered by existing cooperation arrangements. The Parties shall discuss and mutually agree on the sectors for cooperation and develop cooperation programmes in these sectors in order to improve their domestic capacities, efficiencies and competitiveness.
The increasing participation of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam in this Agreement shall be facilitated through negotiated specific commitments, relating to:
PART III: SPECIFIC COMMITMENTS
The Parties may negotiate commitments with respect to measures affecting trade in services not subject to scheduling under Articles 18 and 19 including those regarding qualifications, standards or licensing matters. Such commitments shall be inscribed in a Party’s Schedule.
PART IV: OTHER PROVISIONS
In fulfilling its obligations and commitments under this Agreement, each Party shall ensure their observance by regional and local governments and authorities in its territory as well as their observance by non-governmental bodies (in the exercise of powers delegated by central, state, regional or local governments or authorities) within its territory.
The ASEAN Economic Ministers and the Minister of the Ministry of Commerce of China or their designated representatives shall meet within a year from the date of entry into force of this Agreement and then biennially or otherwise as appropriate to review this Agreement for the purpose of considering further measures to liberalise trade in services as well as to develop disciplines and negotiate agreements on matters referred to in Article 15 or any other relevant matters as may be agreed.
This Agreement may be amended by agreement in writing by the Parties and such amendments shall enter into force on such date or dates as may be agreed by the Parties.
The Agreement on Dispute Settlement Mechanism of the Framework Agreement shall apply to this Agreement.
A Party may deny the benefits of this Agreement:
For the ASEAN Member Countries, this Agreement shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of ASEAN, who shall promptly furnish a certified copy thereof, to each ASEAN Member Country.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned being duly authorised by their respective Governments, have signed the Agreement on Trade in Services of the Framework Agreement on the Comprehensive Economic Co-operation between the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations and the People’s Republic of China.
Done at Cebu, the Philippines, this Fourteenth Day of January in the Year Two Thousand and Seven, in duplicate copies in the English Language.