53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting, 35th ASEAN Free Trade Area Council Meeting, 24th ASEAN Investment Area Council Meeting and ASEAN Economic Ministers and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Consultations held

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The Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations U Aung Naing Oo participated at the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting, the 35th ASEAN Free Trade Area Council Meeting, the 24th ASEAN Investment Area Council Meeting and Economic Ministers and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Consultations held via video conference at 8 am on 8 September 2021 from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations.
The Meetings were chaired by Dato Dr Amin Liew Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II of Brunei Darussalum and attended by ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM), ASEAN Free Trade Area Council Ministers, ASEAN Investment Area Council Ministers, Senior Economic Officials (SEOM), ASEAN Business Advisory Council Members, Secretary-General of ASEAN Secretariat and representatives.
In the ASEAN Free Trade Area Council Meeting, the ministers noted the implementation of ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and welcomed the status of the review of the agreement. The ministers also endorsed the list of foods and agricultural products as essential goods into the annexe of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Implementation of the Non-Tariff Measures on Essential Goods under the Hanoi Plan of Action on Strengthening ASEAN Economic Cooperation and Supply Chain Connectivity in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The ministers encouraged ASEAN Member States to notify the trade-related measures to WTO and ASEAN Secretariat according to the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement and WTO’s Agreement.
The Union minister said that Myanmar will participate actively in regional commitment while facing the challenges by the COVID-19 and current situation. He also supported the developing of the guideline for the Tariff Reduction Schedule transposition which provide the transparency and certainty for the intra-ASEAN trade and encouraged the Coordinating Committee on the Implementation of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (CCA) to finalize the guideline. The Union Minister welcomed the progress of the General Review of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) and supported the ASEAN Secretariat’s Paper on the proposed ways forwards for Long-Standing Issues to be incorporate in the General Review of ATIGA.
In the ASEAN Investment Area Council Meeting, the ministers noted the implementation of the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement. The ministers welcomed the launch of the ASEAN Investment Report (AIR) 2020-2021 and adopted in principle for the ASEAN Investment Facilitation Framework (AIFF). The ministers also noted the ASEAN Investment Surveillance Report 2021 and the report of the Senior Official to the ASEAN Investment Area Council Meeting.
The Union Minister welcomed the ASEAN Investment Facilitation Framework (AIFF) to be adopted as one of the priorities economic deliverables of Brunei Chairmanship in 2021. He also exchanged views on the priority areas of the investment promotion in the post- COVID-19. The Union Minister highlighted the SMART Program which has been introducing for Myanmar’s Investment Promotion and Facilitation and supported the ASEAN Investment Facilitation Framework (AIFF) that contains principles and actions to facilitate the inflow of investment into ASEAN as the region gears up towards post-pandemic economic recovery and looked forward to its implementation.
In the afternoon, the Union Minister joined the ASEAN Economic Ministers and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Consultations which was attended by ASEAN Economic Ministers and the members of ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ABAC) from ASEAN Member States. ASEAN Business Advisory Council reported to the Ministers about the progress of the ABAC’s 2021 activities, the preparation of ASEAN Business and Investment Summit and arrangement of the Business Award, the trade facilitation program, the digital trade connect and the cooperation of health and tourism sectors. After hearing the report, the Ministers provided guidance for further process.
At the consultations, the Union Minister shared the experience of the COVID-19 prevention, control and treatment measures with the close cooperation of the private sector and formulation of the Myanmar Economic Recovery Plan which will be implemented as the National Mid Term Plan, in line with the UN SDGs, ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and GMS work programme to recover the country economy from the reverse impact of COVID-19.
In the evening, the Union Minister attended the 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting. At the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on COVID-19 prevention, control, treatment, and vaccination programme in their respective countries. Union Minister informed that the government’s vaccination programme targeting 50 % of population over the age of 18 at the end of this year, and the facilitation and liberalization of importation and distribution of COVID-19 related medicines and medical equipment.
The 53rd ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting will continue on 9 September, 2021.
Deputy Minister and senior officials from the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations and the representatives from the Ministry of Planning and Finance and Ministry of Commerce also attended the meetings.—MNA

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