1. Economic Ministers from the ten ASEAN Member States and from Australia and New Zealand (Closer Economic Relations – CER) met on 23 August 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the Twentieth ASEAN-CER Consultations. The Consultations were co-chaired by H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry of Malaysia; the Honourable Andrew Robb, Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment and the Honourable Timothy Groser, Minister of Trade of New Zealand.
2. The Ministers acknowledged the strengthened and long-term partnership among the Parties with the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of ASEAN’s Dialogue Relations with Australia last year, and with New Zealand in 2015. The Ministers further welcomed the deepening economic relations between ASEAN and CER through the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations and the steady growth of trade and investment in the region.
3. The Ministers, in particular, noted ASEAN’s total merchandise trade with Australia and New Zealand at combined value of USD 81.1 billion in 2014, with ASEAN being a net exporter to CER.
4. ASEAN was Australia’s second largest trading partner in 2014, with total two-way merchandise trade of USD70.4 billion, and was the recipient of foreign direct investment stocks of USD23.9 billion from Australia at 31 December 2014. In the same year, merchandise trade between ASEAN and New Zealand reached USD 10.7 billion and ASEAN received USD 319 million of FDI inflows from New Zealand. With ASEAN becoming a strategic location in global supply chains, the Ministers noted the need to ensure that the trade and investment regime among the Parties is progressing and business-friendly.
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