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Union Minister for Investment and Foreign Economic Relations attends ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Special Meeting

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The MIFER Union Minister poses for the documentary group photo of the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Special Meeting in Bali, Indonesia.

Union Minister U Aung Naing Oo of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations participated in the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Special Meeting, which was held on 17 and 18 May 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.
The Meeting was chaired by Mr Pan Sorasak, Minister for Commerce, the Kingdom of Cambodia and attended by ASEAN Economic Ministers, the ASEAN Secretary-General, Senior Economic Officials (SEOM) and representatives from ASEAN Countries.
At the Meeting, the Ministers discussed and exchanged views on ASEAN’s collective efforts and strategies to address regional and global issues, mitigate their potential adverse impacts on ASEAN’s economy and strengthen ASEAN’s centrality in the economic integration.
The Ministers acknowledged the United States and the European Union’s intention of their engagement with the Indo-Pacific region and reiterated the importance of strengthening and maintaining ASEAN Centrality in ASEAN’s engagement with its external partners through ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP).
With regard to the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Ministers urged the remaining countries to expedite the ratification of the Agreement which is to be a significant contributor to post-pandemic economic recovery efforts.
The Ministers shared the information on preparing for the WTO 12th Ministerial Conference which will be held on 13 June 2022 in Geneva. They also shared views on deepening understanding of the complex dynamics between trade-related environment and climate change measures.
In addition, the Ministers discussed the potential industrial-based projects in ASEAN as a collective effort to deepen ASEAN economic integration, enhance intra-ASEAN trade and investment and strengthen supply chain connectivity.
In his statement, the Union minister highlighted the impacts of global economic stagnation on ASEAN’s economy due to the unprecedented global challenges particularly the Russia-Ukraine conflict, while ASEAN is attempting economic recovery efforts in the post-Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, he also explained the efforts of the State Administration Council (SAC) to address political issues and mitigate geopolitical risks. He also underscored the crucial role of support and understanding of ASEAN Member States to stabilize political and economic situations in Myanmar. He also stressed Myanmar’s commitment to actively participate in the regional economic integration programme under the ASEAN Economic Community Pillar.
During the Meeting, the Union minister met Mr Pan Sorasak, Chairman of the ASEAN Economic Ministers’ Meeting, Minister for Commerce, the Kingdom of Cambodia and discussed matters to strengthen bilateral economic cooperation, finalize the Investment Promotion and Protection Treaty and continue further discussions for the Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between Myanmar and Cambodia.
The Union minister also had a separate meeting with Mr Muhammad Lutfi, Minister for Trade of Indonesia, and discussed strengthening cooperation under the implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. At the meeting, the Union minister requested to liberalize Indonesia’s current export ban on palm oil, particularly exemption for Myanmar and promote Myanmar agricultural exports to the Indonesian market.
The Union minister also met Mr Samsem Samalapa, Deputy Minister for Commerce, Thailand, and frankly discussed matters to enhance bilateral trade and also to facilitate the Baht/Kyat direct payment at the Thai-Myanmar border. In addition, the Union minister had a meeting with Mr Bountheung Douangsavanh, Deputy Minister for Industry and Commerce of Lao PDR and explored the promotion of bilateral economic cooperation and border trade.
On the evening of 17 May, the Union minister joined the dinner hosted by Mr Muhammad Lutfi, together with ASEAN Economic Ministers.
The permanent secretary of the Ministry of Investment and Foreign Economic Relations and officials also attended the meeting. —MNA

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