1. Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand gathered in Da Nang, Viet Nam on 26 August 2010 and exchanged views on regional and global issues affecting the East Asian region as well as developments in several areas of cooperation within the East Asia Summit (EAS) framework.
2. The Ministers noted that, despite the global economic crisis that started in September 2008, trade between ASEAN and its trading partners in the EAS remained strong compared to the trend of global trade. ASEAN’s total merchandise trade with the six countries declined by 16.1 percent from USD 598.8 billion in 2008 to USD 502.1 billion in 2009 – quite robust if compared to the 22.6 percent decline in global trade last year. The Ministers also noted that the US$ 502.31 billion trade between ASEAN and the EAS countries in 2009 is higher compared to pre-crisis levels. In 2007, ASEAN trade with EAS countries was valued at USD 490.4 billion.
3. The Ministers were pleased to note that, despite the global economic crisis that resulted in a 37.1 percent decline in global investment flows, FDI flows from the Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand grew by 5.84 percent, from USD 9.5 billion in 2008 to USD 10 billion in 2009. The Ministers noted that this represents a 25.3 percent share of total FDI flows to ASEAN in 2009.
4. The Ministers recalled Leaders’ conviction that the EAS should continue to help a prosperous and harmonious East Asia with ASEAN as the driving force working in close partnership with other participants of the EAS.
COMPREHENSIVE ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP IN EAST ASIA (CEPEA)
5. The Ministers welcomed the progress report on the work of the four ASEAN Plus Working Groups that were tasked to look into the recommendations in the studies on the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) in parallel. The Ministers were encouraged that two Working Groups (i.e. Rules of Origin and Tariff Nomenclature) were ready to engage ASEAN’s FTA partners in September 2010. The Ministers urged the other Working Groups (i.e. Customs Procedures and Economic Cooperation) to intensify internal discussions with the view to opening up discussions to ASEAN’s FTA partners as soon as possible. The Ministers underscored the importance of ASEAN centrality in the process of regional economic integration in East Asia. The Ministers agreed to submit a progress report of the ASEAN Plus Working Groups to the Leaders at the 5th East Asia Summit.
6. The Ministers noted the success of the two Workshops on Rules of Origin in East Asia Economic Integration, which provided good opportunity for government officials, academicians and the business representatives to interact and discuss issues related to the implementation of the rules of origin in ASEAN’s Plus One FTAs. The Ministers encouraged the ASEAN Plus Working Groups to take on board the relevant recommendations from these Workshops in their discussions. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to Japan and Indonesia for hosting the Workshop in Tokyo and Jakarta, respectively, and welcomed the offer of India to host the third workshop.
7. The Ministers welcomed and exchanged views on Japan’s concept paper on Initial Steps towards regional Economic Integration in East Asia: A Gradual Approach. The Ministers noted the decision of the ASEAN Economic Ministers to refer Japan’s proposal to the ASEAN Plus Working Groups for assessment and consideration in the context of their ongoing consolidation work.
ECONOMIC RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR ASEAN AND EAST ASIA
8. The Ministers noted the progress of the research activities of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) in a variety of fields such as energy, environment, trade and investment, etc., including the assistance provided to ASEAN in improving the AEC Scorecard and in drafting the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan. The Ministers welcomed the Comprehensive Asian Development Plan (CADP), which ERIA is developing in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the ASEAN Secretariat pursuant to the Joint Press Statement of the East Asia Summit on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis.
9. The Ministers looked forward to ERIA’s continued support and contribution in enhancing economic integration and community-building in ASEAN and the greater East Asian region through its research works and the policy recommendations arising from that research.
SMART COMMUNITY INITIATIVE
10. The Ministers welcomed the initiative proposed by Japan toward realizing smart communities in the East Asia and ASEAN countries, which will accommodate smart energy systems and various smart social infrastructures leading to sustainable society in the region, with the support from the Japan Smart Community Alliance (JSCA) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), through various tangible activities including missions and projects.
WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO)
11. The Ministers exchanged views on recent developments in the Doha Development Round in the WTO. They shared the view that a strengthened multilateral trading system is a source of economic growth, development and stability. The Ministers reaffirmed their resolve for active contribution in bringing the WTO Doha Development Round to a balanced and ambitious conclusion as soon as possible. The Ministers also re-iterated their support to the accession of Lao PDR to the WTO at the earliest possible time.
LIST OF MINISTERS
1. Bruce Gosper, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
2. Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam
3. H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia
4. H.E. Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, China
5. H.E. Anand Sharma, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India
6. H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia
7. H.E. Masayuki Naoshima, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
8. H.E. Kim Jong-Hoon, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea
9. H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
10. H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
11. H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
12. Hon. Tim Groser, Minister of Trade, New Zealand
13. H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
14. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
15. H.E. Porntiva Nakasai, Minister of Commerce, Thailand
16. H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
17. H.E. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN