1. Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States, Australia and New Zealand (Closer Economic Relations – CER) met on 1 September 2018 in Singapore for the Twenty-Third AEM-CER Consultations. The Consultations were co-chaired by H.E. Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore; the Hon Mark Coulton MP, Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia (representing Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Australia); and Hon Damien O’Connor, Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth, New Zealand.

2. The Ministers welcomed the 11.7 per cent increase in ASEAN’s total merchandise trade with Australia, from USD 52.9 billion in 2016 to USD 59 billion in 2017; while total merchandise trade with New Zealand increased by 20.4 per cent, from USD 7.9 billion in 2016 to USD 9.5 billion in 2017, in line with stronger regional and global economic and trade expansion. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from Australia into ASEAN also increased by 33.4 per cent from USD 1.6 billion in 2016 to USD 2.1 billion in 2017; while FDI inflows from New Zealand into ASEAN increased by 84.5 per cent from USD 0.2 billion in 2016 to USD 0.3 billion in 2017.

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Download the opening remarks here.