A Vietnamese delegation led by Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh attended the 30th meeting of the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Council in Vientiane, Laos on August 3.
At the meeting (Source: VNA)
The event was within the framework of the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings.
Economic ministers and deputy ministers from the 10 ASEAN member states hailed the significant progress of tariff reductions and removal.
As much as 99.2 percent of import tariffs in the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) agreed by six ASEAN countries (ASEAN 6), including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand, have been eliminated. Meanwhile, the rate for Cambodia-Laos-Myanmar-Vietnam (CLMV) was 90.9 percent.
On general calculation, 96.01 percent of tariffs in ASEAN have so far been removed.
By 2018, the rate of removed tariffs for ASEAN 6, CLMV and ASEAN overall is estimated to be at 99.2 percent, 97.81 percent and 98.67 percent, respectively.
Participants pledged to promote trade facilitation by various activities, including self-certification, the ASEAN Trade Repository, the ASEAN Solution for Investment, Services and Trade and the ASEAN Single Window (ASW).
They urged ASEAN member states to exert every effort to speed up the adoption of a Protocol on the Law Framework to implement the ASW, thereby implementing the mechanism this year.
The same day, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Nguyen Cam Tu led a Vietnamese delegation to the 19th meeting of the ASEAN Investment Area Council, also part of the 48th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting and related meetings.
ASEAN economic officials discussed issues regarding the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA) over the past number of years and orientations for the next period.
They agreed on the remaining issues involved in the second protocol amending the ACIA, which is slated to be signed in September in Vientiane, saying that the past achievements will lay the foundation for the implementation of the 2016-2025 investment plan.