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ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting held in Brunei

Updated: 2013-08-20 10:31
( Xinhua)

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN -- The 45th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEMM) was held here Monday at the International Convention Centre.

The ASEAN economic ministers reviewed the region's performance amidst the current global economic situation and exchanged ideas on how ASEAN can increase its regional competitiveness and further strengthen its position as a key player in the international supply chain.

In a joint media statement, the ministers welcomed the continued robust economic performance and resilience of ASEAN in 2012. In particular, ASEAN economies as a whole grew by 5.7 percent, which is almost 1 percentage point higher than the region 's economic growth rate in 2011. The faster growth is noteworthy in a global environment of weaker growth performance overall.

On the other hand, the ministers were pleased to note that ASEAN was able to maintain its level of foreign direct investment (FDI) at $108.2 billion in 2012, when global FDI inflows significantly declined including inflows to most developing economies.

The ministers noted the small improvement in the overall implementation rate of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Blueprint, which is at 79.4 percent as of July 2013.

Developments in establishing the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015 are at the top of the agenda, so ministers discussed the progress that has been made in deepening integration between and amongst all ASEAN member states, particularly on trade in goods, services and investment. Aside from that, regional cooperation on matters relating to Small and Medium Enterprises, intellectual property, competition policy, consumer protection and public- private sector engagement was also discussed by the ministers.

The ministers also noted several initiatives of ASEAN to address the matter of Non-tariff measures (NTMs) and narrow the development gap.

During Tuesday and Wednesday, the ASEAN economic ministers will have their annual consultations with their counterparts from all ASEAN Dialogue Partners: China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, United States, Canada as well as Russia - all of whom will sit with their ASEAN counterparts and review the status of their cooperation with their respective economies, and deliberate means to further strengthen such partnerships that have been described as a key component of the overall strategy for ASEAN to be fully integrated into the global economy.

In their engagement with counterparts from ASEAN Dialogue Partners, the ministers will also have an opportunity to review the status of ASEAN's cooperation with the respective economies, and discuss how to further strengthen such partnerships, as these external linkages form a key component of the overall strategy for ASEAN to be fully integrated into the global economy.

As furtherance to these efforts, a number of side events have also been lined up to coincide with the AEMM, which will include the 3rd ASEAN Investment Forum, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit, the ASEAN-China Youth Forum organized by the Brunei Economic Development Board, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and the Young Entrepreneurs Association of Brunei Darussalam.