1. The ASEAN Economic Ministers and Ministers from the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea held their Sixth Consultation in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 3 September 2003. The consultation was co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Cham Prasidh, Minister of Commerce, Cambodia; H.E. Mr. Lu Fuyuan, Minister of Commerce, People’s Republic of China; H.E. Mr. Takeo Hiranuma, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan; and H.E. Mr. Hwang Doo-yun, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea.
2. The Ministers exchanged views on the global economic situation and recent economic developments in ASEAN and the Northeast Asian countries. They expressed satisfaction with recent trends in the trade volume between ASEAN with China, Japan, and Korea, which grew by 6.5 percent from US $ 171.6 billion in 2001 to US $ 182.8 billion in 2002. The Ministers underlined the importance of continuing regional economic integration as a means to promote trade and investment flows.
ECONOMIC COOPERATION PROJECTS
3. The Ministers were satisfied that since the Fourth AEM+3 Consultation held in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, on 12 September 2001, 12 projects have been approved, 9 of which are being implemented while 3 have been completed.
4. The Ministers considered and approved the following new projects:
(i) Asia e-Commerce Incubator
(ii) ASEAN+3 Supply Chain Project
(iii) E-Commerce Training Program for ASEAN Countries
5. The Ministers looked forward to the expeditious implementation of the approved projects.
RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE EAST ASIA STUDY GROUP (EASG)
6. The Ministers considered the final report of the East Asia Study Group (EASG) and thanked the EASG for their thorough deliberations on various initiatives to promote cooperation in the East Asia region. The Ministers welcomed the implementation of the various short-term measures recommended by the EASG, particularly the East Asia Forum (EAF) by Korea, the building of East Asia Think-Tanks by China and the ASEAN+3 Study Group for the Facilitation and Promotion of the Exchange of People and Human Resource Development by Japan. The Ministers also shared the view of the EASG that the establishment of East Asia Free Trade Area shall be a long-term goal which shall be evolutionary and step-by-step; taking into account the differences of social, economy, and cultural development stages among East Asian countries.
REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ISSUES
7. The Ministers exchanged views on regional and international economic issues of common concern, including the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Regional Integration Initiative in East Asia
8. The Ministers welcomed the current progress of regional integration initiatives in East Asia. They underlined that respective initiatives shall aim at achieving economic integration of East Asia.
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
9. The Ministers agreed to work closely in order to ensure a positive outcome in Cancun with a view to achieving a single undertaking agreement, which is broad and well-balanced on market access including agriculture, rules making and development-related issues before 1 January 2005 as mandated by Doha Ministerial Declaration.
10. The Ministers urged all WTO members to express more flexibility and accountability to work on the substantial issues in a positive manner, and thereby ensure the necessary decisions at Cancun on issues such as agriculture and non-agricultural market access, special and differential treatment, implementation and all the four Singapore issues and other elements of Work Program.
11. The Ministers expressed continuing support for the early accession of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam to the WTO and reiterated their personal involvement to ensure the completion of the DDA negotiations by the agreed deadline of 1 January 2005.
Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation
12. The Ministers reiterated their strong support for work being undertaken in APEC on trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and economic cooperation in the region. The Ministers looked forward to the successful organisation of the ASEAN Showcase at the coming APEC 2003 CEO Summit, scheduled to be held in Thailand on 16-21 October 2003.
Asia Europe Meeting
13. The Ministers welcomed the outcome of the 5th ASEM Economic Ministers’ Meeting (EMM) held in Dalian, China on 22-24 July 2003. The Ministers shared the view that this shall be a sound building block for the success of the forthcoming WTO Ministerial Meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
OTHER AREAS OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION
14. The Ministers were pleased with the outcomes of the 2nd Senior Officials Meeting on Energy +3 (SOME+3) on 2 July 2003 in Langkawi Island, Malaysia. The Ministers welcomed the establishment of the SOME+3 Energy Policy Working Group to provide overall policy direction and program management for ASEAN+3 energy cooperation.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR)
15. The Ministers recognised the growing importance of strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights by developing measures against counterfeiting and generating cooperation in this field for the purpose of attracting investment and stimulating market growth.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE ASEAN+3 AND ASEAN+1 SUMMITS
16. The Ministers were pleased with the preparations being undertaken by Indonesia for the ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+1 Summits, which will be held in Bali, Indonesia in October 2003.
LIST OF MINISTERS
- 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. Lu Fuyuan, Minister of Commerce, People’s Republic of China;
- H.E. Ms. Rini M. S. Soewandi, Minister of Industry and Trade, Indonesia;
- H.E. Mr. Takeo Hiranuma, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan;
- H.E. Mr. Hwang Doo-yun, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea;
- H.E. Mr. Soulivong Daravong, Minister of Commerce, Lao PDR;
- H.E. Dato’ Seri Rafidah Aziz, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia;
- H.E. U Khin Maung Win, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Myanmar;
- H.E. Mr. MAR Roxas, Secretary of Trade and Industry, Philippines;
- H.E. B.G. (NS) George Yeo, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
- H.E. Mr. Adisai Bodharamik , Minister of Commerce, Thailand;
- H.E. Mr. Truong Dinh Tuyen, Minister of Trade, Viet Nam; and
- H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN.