MIFER Union Minister attends 30th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat Meeting

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ASEAN member countries’ economic ministers including Union Minister Dr Kan Zaw pose for the documentary group photo at the 30th ASEAN Economic Ministers Retreat Meeting in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR.

A Myanmar delegation led by Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations Dr Kan Zaw attended the 30th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat Meeting, which was held in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, on 8-9 March 2024.
The Union minister joined the welcome dinner of the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat Meeting held on the evening of 8 March. He then attended the 30th ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Retreat Meeting held on 9 March. The meeting was chaired by Malaithong Kommasith, Minister of Industry and Commerce of the Lao PDR and attended by the Economic Ministers from ASEAN and Timor-Leste, Senior Economic Officials (SEOMs) and representatives from ASEAN member countries, members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, the ASEAN Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General of the ASEAN Economic Community and officials.
As the first part of the meeting, ASEAN Economic Ministers interface with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. At the meeting, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council presented the priorities for 2024 and recommendations for strengthening regional economic integration and public-private cooperation.
In the second part of the meeting, ASEAN Economic Ministers discussed and gave guidance on the activities to be carried out under the ASEAN economic pillar according to the outcomes from the 43rd ASEAN Summits, Lao PDR’s Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) for 2024, AEC Annual Priorities for 2024, issues of signing the ASEAN economic agreements, the progress of the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement upgrade negotiation, progress of the ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA) Negotiations, progress in the implementation of initiatives on sustainability under the ASEAN Economic Community, progress of the implementation of the AEC Blueprint 2025 and the development of the economic components of post-2025 AEC, study on New and Emerging Issues in ASEAN Plus One FTAs, progress of the ACFTA 3.0 Upgrade Negotiations and the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. In addition, during the meeting, the Ministers endorsed the ASEAN Services Facilitation Framework (ASFF).
During the meetings, the Union minister endorsed Lao PDR’s Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) for 2024 together with the other ASEAN Economic Ministers and discussed that these priorities are suitable to be implemented for the current time; it is essential to complete and implement this year; it is necessary to consider the way to solve the effects that may be encountered in carrying out these priorities. He also expressed the need to speed up the negotiations for the completion of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (3.0) upgrade negotiations by 2024. Regarding the establishment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation (RCEP) Support Unit, the Union minister highlighted that Myanmar is working with the member countries. As the member countries, it is crucial to maintain the principles of equality, mutual obligation and ASEAN centrality.
U Aung Ko, Ambassador of Myanmar to the Lao PDR, Dr Marlar Myo Nyunt, ASEAN Senior Economic Official of Myanmar, and officials also attended the meeting. The Preparatory Meeting of the Senior Economic Officials for the 30th AEM Retreat was held on 8 March 2024, and the Director-General of the Foreign Economic Relations Department, who is ASEAN Senior Economic Official of Myanmar, and officials participated in the meeting.
The meeting reportedly focused on Digital Economy, Circular Economy, Carbon Neutrality, Blue Economy, supply chain for MSMEs, Trade and Investment Facilitation, regional economic development and economic integration activities. — MIFER

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