ASEAN ministers discuss progress of AEC

James kon

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah recently joined other economic ministers in the 52nd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting (52nd AEM Meeting) and Related Meetings via video conference hosted by Vietnam as the Chair of ASEAN 2020.

The series of meetings included the AEM-ASEAN Business Advisory Interface, 34th ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Council Meeting, 23rd ASEAN Investment Area Council Meeting, 52nd AEM Meeting, the 8th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting, and the various AEM Consultations with ASEAN’s Dialogue Partners, including Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the United States (US).

The ASEAN economic ministers also held a separate open dialogue with the United Kingdom’s (UK) Secretary of State for International Trade.

According to the statement from Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), during the six-day meetings, ASEAN economic ministers discussed the progress on the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2025 Blueprint and economic deliverables under Vietnam’s
ASEAN Chairmanship.

The ministers also welcomed the implementation of the ‘First Protocol to amend the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA)’, which will enter into force on September 20.

Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah during the meeting. PHOTO: MOFE

During the AEM-ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Interface, the ministers were briefed by the ASEAN-BAC on the progress of the implementation of their legacy projects.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministers also exchanged views on ASEAN’s economic responsiveness and possible areas for cooperation and collaboration to support mitigation as well as post-pandemic recovery efforts.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew emphasised on the importance of continuously sharing information, lessons learnt, experiences and best practices. The need to adopt digital transformation, strengthening the resilience of our society and businesses and enhance our community building efforts in facing the adverse impact of COVID-19 was also stressed.

The minister also briefed the meeting on Brunei’s measures in handling the pandemic and preparations for its ASEAN Chairmanship in 2021.

At the 8th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Meeting, Dato Seri Setia Dr Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew expressed the view that the signing of the RCEP Agreement can help rebuild confidence for businesses, contribute to wider trade and help accelerate the much-needed recovery of trade and investment in the region.

Permanent Secretary (Economy) at the MoFE Dr Hajah May Fa’ezah binti Haji Ahmad Ariffin and officers from the Trade Division were also present at the meetings.