APR News

ASEAN Convenes its Services Forum 2015

The ASEAN Services Forum, an event for substantive discussion on the trends and challenges in trade in services integration among the policy makers and stakeholders in the region, was held on 18-19 June 2015 at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

The Forum discussion focused on the challenges in realising the ambitious target of free flow of trade in services set by the ASEAN Leaders under the AEC Blueprint where there shall be substantially no restrictions to ASEAN services suppliers in providing services and in establishing companies across national borders within the region, subject to domestic regulations.
ASEAN now aims to enhance the existing ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) under the post‐2015 agenda.

Press-release at the official ASEAN web-site


ASEAN, China to Further Strengthen the Strategic Partnership

H.E. Xu Bu, the new Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to ASEAN, presented his Letter of Credence to H.E. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN, at the ASEAN Secretariat on June 18, 2015.

Congratulating Ambassador Xu on his assumption of duty, SG Minh highlighted that ASEAN and China are committed to further strengthening and deepening the Strategic Partnership as reflected in the Joint Statement of the 16th ASEAN-China Summit, which was adopted on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership in October 2013.

SG Minh highlighted that ASEAN has benefitted from China's support to its Community building efforts.

Ambassador Xu thanked SG Minh and underscored that China attaches great importance to the development of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership and considers ASEAN as a priority in its neighborhood diplomacy and that the Partnership has become a major pillar for the maintenance of peace and stability in the region.

Press-release at the official ASEAN web-site


Work on zones of advanced economic growth in the Far East is continuing

Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Deputy Prime Minister and Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev on June 5, 2015. Mr. Trutnev informed the President of Russia that a work on zones of advanced economic growth in the Far East is continuing. Mr. Trutnev said that “a government commission has selected 15 projects in different sectors to go ahead in the designated zones and investors have already been found. The projects will help attract to the Russian economy 368 billion of private investment by 2018, and 383 billion – by 2025. In doing so 22.5 thousands of jobs will be created. Budgetary costs amount to RUB33 billion, so the multiplier is 1 to 11”.

Press-release at the official web-site of the Russian President


ASEAN, China Reaffirm Commitment to Strategic Partnership

Senior Officials of ASEAN and the People's Republic of China met on 3-4 June in Beijing for the 21st ASEAN-China Senior Officials' Consultation. Both sides reaffirmed the importance of ASEAN-China Strategic Partnership and agreed to further strengthen the close ties.


The Meeting agreed that even though both sides worked to finalise and implement existing plans and development programmes, simultaneously there was a need to look ahead and identify future targets and developments goals in line with the dynamic nature of the Partnership, which is now in its 24th year. China has remained ASEAN's largest trading partner since 2009 while ASEAN remains China's third largest trading partner since 2011. The two-way trade volume reached USD 366.5 billion in 2014, a 4.6% growth year-on-year. Both sides agreed to work towards achieving USD 500 billion two-way trade volume by end-2015 and USD 1 trillion by 2020. The upgrading of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement, when realized, would contribute to achieving the ambitious trade volumes.

As the current Plan expires at end-2015, both sides are working to finalise a new Plan of Action to be endorsed by the ASEAN plus China Post Ministerial Conference in August 2015. The new Plan, which covers the period 2016-2020, will be framed to meet new challenges, enhance the economic ties between both sides, assist in narrowing the development gap in ASEAN and contain practical measures to deepen and enhance the mutually beneficial partnership.


Press-release at the official ASEAN web-site


Asia Region Funds Passport On-Track for 2016 Launch

An APEC initiative to make it easier for financial services professionals to market investment products such as mutual funds to retail customers in other Asia-Pacific economies, and boost job creation in the region, is on-track for a launch in 2016.Finance officials and regulators from the six APEC member economies leading the development of the Asia Region Fund Passport just concluded a week of meetings in Singapore to iron out the details. They include Australia, Korea, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand -its pilot participants at present. 


ASEAN Completes Trainings on Rules of Origin

In-country training on Rules of Origin (ROO) hosted by the Customs Department of Thailand in Bangkok from 27 - 29 May completes a series of capacity building activities on ROO for ASEAN, with focus on ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).


The activities include development of training modules, translation of training modules into national languages of ASEAN Member States, training of trainers at regional level and national level trainings in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam. The activities contribute to enhancing the capacity of ASEAN officials on rules of origin to facilitate the implementation of their FTA commitments. The in-country training particularly benefits front-line actors and private sector entities including traders, chamber of commerce and intermediaries involved in ROO certification and clearances to encourage full use of tariff preferences.


Azevêdo completes three country visit to Southeast Asia

Director-General Roberto Azevêdo wrapped up a three country visit to Malaysia (19-20 May), the Philippines (21-24 May) and Singapore (25 May), hailing the strong support of all three countries for the multilateral trading system and more specifically for a successful meeting of the WTO Ministerial Conference in Nairobi, Kenya, in December this year. The Director-General also was in the region to attend the APEC meeting of Ministers Responsible for Trade held in Boracay, the Philippines, on 23-24 May.

“Singapore, as one of the world's truly global cities, epitomises the benefits that international trade can deliver. I was strongly encouraged by the interest and engagement of the Singaporean Government in our work as well as from the business and the NGO community.”
“The Malaysian leg of my visit was equally productive. Malaysia as ASEAN Chair this year has a particularly important role that it can play in building support for the WTO in the region.”

“The Philippines has a key role to play this year as Chair of APEC and I congratulate President Aquino and Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo on a most successful meeting of trade ministers in Boracay on 23-24 May.”

Press-release at the official WTO web-site


II Mongolia Business Summit will be held on June 18-20, 2015 in Ulan Bator

II Mongolia Business Summit will be held on June 18-20, 2015 in Ulan Bator. The summit will bring together the representatives of Mongolian governmental authorities, and leading Mongolian and international business executives. The discussion of the event will focus on trends, developments and opportunities in Mongolia’s major industries (e.g. mining, agriculture, construction, energy etc) as well as business environment in the country. The participants will have an opportunity to visit Erdenet Mining Corporation, one of the biggest Ore mining and Ore processing factory in Asia.

For additional information please the official summit web-site or send a request by email urtnasan.b@meforum.mn (B. Urtnasan) and altanzul@meforum.mn (Z. Altanzul) or by phone (976) 11-321051.

Preliminary programme
Registration form


APEC Trade Ministers met in Boracay, Philippines on May 23-24, 2015

APEC Trade Ministers met in Boracay, Philippines on May 23-24, 2015. The meeting concluded with the statement adoption on expanding trade and spurring economic activity towards strong, sustainable and inclusive growth.

The statement describes joint actions to be taken forward by APEC members in the following priority areas:

Trade Ministers also adopted a standalone statement on supporting the multilateral trading system.

Press-release at the official APEC web-site