1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and the European Trade Commissioner held their Second Consultation on 12 September 2001 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. The Consultation was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Vu Khoan, Minister of Trade of Viet Nam and H.E. Mr. Pascal Lamy, European Trade Commissioner .
ASEAN-EU TRADE AND INVESTMENT RELATIONS
2. The Ministers exchanged views on recent developments in ASEAN and EU. The Ministers noted that ASEAN-EU trade had grown to US $ 94.67 billion in 2000 or an increase of 4.7 % compared to 1999. ASEAN informed Mr. Lamy on the latest developments regarding the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA), ASEAN Investment Area (AlA), e-ASEAN initiative and the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI). Mr. Lamy briefed the ASEAN Ministers on recent developments in the EU, including most visible sign of the achievement of European Monetary Union (EMU), the introduction of Euro notes and coins.
3. The Ministers noted that despite the significant economic growth and optimism in year 2000, the average growth rates in both ASEAN and EU could be lower this year due to the global economic slowdown. The Ministers noted a decline in EU foreign direct investment flows into ASEAN and agreed on the need to engage EU investors through, amongst others, more active investment efforts.
INTERNATIONAL AND REGIONAL ECONOMIC ISSUES
World Trade Organisation
4. The Ministers reiterated their support for the launch of the new WTO round as expressed in the Chair’s Statement of the Third ASEM Economic Ministers Meeting on 11 September 2001.
ASEAN-EU ECONOMIC COOPERATION INTENSIFIED
5. The Ministers agreed on the urgency of intensifying ASEAN -EU economic cooperation and expressed support for continued cooperation to further reduce non-tariff barriers so as to facilitate trade flows between the two regions. The Ministers requested senior officials from both sides to broaden the scope of SEOM-EU consultations and to identify possible areas of cooperation to address the challenges of globalisation and the facilitation of trade flows between the ASEAN and EU.
6. The Ministers agreed to expedite implementation of existing cooperation schemes, including the ASEAN-EC Cooperation Programme on Standards, Quality and Conformity Assessment and ASEAN-EC Intellectual Property Rights Cooperation Programme.
LIST OF MINISTERS
The meeting was attended by:
- H.E. Mr. Vu Khoan, Minister of Trade, Viet Nam;
- H.E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
- H.E. Mr. Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia;
- H.E. Mr, Pascal Lamy, European Union Trade Commissioner;
- H.E. Ms. Rini M.S. Soewandi, Minister of Industry and Trade, Indonesia;
- H.E. Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia;
- H.E. Soulivong Daravong, Minister of Industry and Handicrafts, Lao PDR;
- H.E. Brigadier General David O. Abel, Minister at the Office of the Chairman of the State Peace and Development Council, Myanmar;
- H.E. Dr. Thomas G. Aquino, Undersecretary of Trade and Industry, Philippines;
- H.E. Brigadier General (NS) George Yeo, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
- H.E. Mr. Adisai Bodharamik , Minister of Commerce, Thailand; and
- H .E. Mr. Rodolfo C. Severino, Jr. , Secretary General of ASEAN.