JOINT PRESS STATEMENT
1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers and the Minister from India held their second consultation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 3 September 2003. The consultation was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia; and H.E. Mr. Arun Jaitely, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India.
2. The Ministers exchanged views on broad aspects of the present global economic climate in general and recent developments in ASEAN and India in particular. They expressed satisfaction with the recent trends in ASEAN-India trade, which grew by 22.6 percent from US$9.88 billion in 2001 to US$12.11 billion in 2002. The Ministers underlined the importance of sustained regional economic cooperation as a means to promote trade and investment flows.
Report of the ASEAN-India Economic Linkages Task Force (AIELTF)
3. The Ministers were pleased to note the progress made in the drafting of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between ASEAN and India. The Framework Agreement would lay a sound basis to establish an ASEAN-India Regional Trade and Investment Area (RTIA), which could include a Free Trade Area (FTA) in goods, services and investment.
ASEAN-India Private Sector Involvement
4. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of ASEAN-India Business Council which will provide the private sector perspective and feedback on the broadening and deepening of economic linkages between ASEAN and India; and identify priority areas for enhancing ASEAN-India economic cooperation. The Ministers looked forward to early commencement of the Business Council activities.
5. The Ministers welcomed the organisation of the Second ASEAN-India Business Summit, which is scheduled to be held on 4-5 September 2003 in New Delhi and on 6 September 2003 in Mumbai, India. The Ministers looked forward to the success of the event in deepening the private sector partnership between India and ASEAN.
World Trade Organization
6. The Ministers re-affirmed their commitment to work together to ensure a successful outcome at the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico on 10-14 September 2003 and reiterated continuing support for the early accession of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam to the WTO.
Preparations for the ASEAN-India Summit
7. The Ministers were pleased with the preparations being undertaken by Indonesia for the ASEAN-India Summit, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia in October 2002.
LIST OF MINISTERS
- (i)H.E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
- (ii)H.E. Mr. Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia;
- (iii)H.E. Mr. Arun Jaitely, Minister of Commerce and Industry, India;
- (iv)H.E. Ms. Rini M. S. Soewandi, Minister of Industry and Trade, Indonesia;
- (v)H.E. Mr. Soulivong Daravong, Minister of Commerce, Lao PDR;
- (vi)H.E. Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia;
- (vii)H.E. U Khin Maung Win, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Myanmar;
- (viii)H.E. Mr. MAR Roxas, Secretary of Trade and Industry, Philippines;
- (ix)H.E. B.G. (NS) George Yeo, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
- (x)Mr. Adisai Bodharamik , Minister of Commerce, Thailand;
- (xi)H.E. Mr. Truong Dinh Tuyen, Minister of Trade, Viet Nam; and
- (xii)H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN.