1. Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States and Minister of Commerce of China met on 23 August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Fourteenth AEM-MOFCOM Consultations. The Consultations were co-chaired by H.E. Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade & Industry of Malaysia and H.E. Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce of China.

2. The Ministers noted the strong economic relationship between ASEAN and China, and were pleased that China maintained its position as ASEAN’s largest trading partner. By the end of 2014, ASEAN total trade with China reached USD 366.5 billion and accounting for 14.5 per cent of ASEAN’s total trade. In 2014, ASEAN received USD 8.9 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows from China, accounting for 7.1 per cent of total inflows to ASEAN. According to China’s statistics, trade volume between China and ASEAN reached USD 480.4 billion in 2014, an increase of 8.3 per cent year-on-year, accounting for 11.2 per cent of China’s total trade.

ASEAN-China Free Trade Area Agreement

3. The Ministers noted the progress made in the negotiations on Upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area Agreement (ACFTA), and welcomed the finalization of the Customs Procedures and Trade Facilitation (CPTF) provisions. The Ministers underscored the importance of maintaining the momentum and urged officials to expedite the negotiations toward the conclusion of the ACFTA Upgrading by November 2015. The Ministers agreed that any remaining elements of the Upgrading shall be included as a built-in agenda of the ACFTA.

Download the full Joint Media Statement here.