ASEAN-EU FTA to be ratified by year-end
ASEAN economic ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom reached consensus on March 2 on officially ratifying the EU-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (ASEAN-EU FTA) by the end of the year, according to a report from the Vietnam News Agency.
Speaking at the 16th ASEAN Economic Ministers-EU Trade Commissioner Consultations, which were held on the sidelines of the 24th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ (AEM) Retreat in Singapore, Ms. Malmstrom stressed that the two sides will work to reach the final stages of approving the agreement.
The two sides noted a progress report from the ASEAN-EU Joint Working Group on the building of a framework for the ASEAN-EU FTA in the future.
The ASEAN economic ministers and the EU Trade Commissioner asked senior ASEAN economic officials to quickly complete the framework after consultations in their countries and after dialogue between the two sides.
The economic chiefs thanked the EU for its support in implementing programs and initiatives under the ASEAN Regional Integration Support (ARISE) project and the Capacity Building Project for Monitoring Integration Progress and Statistics (COMPASS).
The two sides agreed that the success of the projects will contribute to strengthening trade ties between the two regions.
They also discussed global and regional economic development and affirmed the importance of continuously fostering economic cooperation between the two regions to benefit from the global economy recovery.
Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, head of the Vietnamese delegation, said that as a coordinator of ASEAN-EU cooperation, Vietnam has actively promoted dialogue and information exchanges between ASEAN nations and the EU to boost research and negotiations on the draft framework of a future ASEAN-EU FTA.