Joint Media Statement of the 13th AEM Plus Three Consultations, 26 August 2010, Da Nan, Viet Nam

Da Nan, Vietnam  26 August 2010

1. The Thirteenth Consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and Economic Ministers from the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea was held in Da Nang, Viet Nam on 26 August 2010.  The Consultations was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam; H.E. Mr. Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China; H.E. Mr. Masayuki Naoshima, Minister for Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan; and H.E. Mr. Kim Jong-Hoon, Minister for Trade of the Republic of Korea.

2. The Ministers exchanged views on regional and global economic developments particularly the current global crisis, which has significantly affected ASEAN trade with the Plus Three countries. The Ministers were pleased that, despite the global economic slowdown, ASEAN trade with the Plus Three Countries remained robust. Trade with these countries reached USD 413.8 billion in 2009, declining by only 15.5 percent compared to USD 489.5 billion reported in 2008, registering a 27 percent share of total ASEAN trade last year.  The Ministers noted that despite the decline, the 2009 value of total trade between ASEAN and its Plus Three Dialogue Partners was still higher than its pre-crisis level of USD 405.4 billion in 2007.

3.  The Ministers noted that, despite the global crisis and the decline of global foreign investment flows, total flows of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from the Plus Three Countries into ASEAN were still strong with a slight decline of 1.3 percent from USD 8.4 billion in 2008 to USD 8.2 billion in 2009.

4. The Ministers recalled the Leaders’ commitment to the ASEAN Plus Three process as a main vehicle towards the long term goal of building an East Asia Community with ASEAN as the driving force.

East Asia Free Trade Area

5. The Ministers welcomed the progress report on the work of the four ASEAN Plus Working Groups that were tasked to look into the recommendations in the studies on the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and the Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA) in parallel.  The Ministers were encouraged that two Working Groups (i.e. Rules of Origin and Tariff Nomenclature) were ready to engage ASEAN’s FTA partners in September 2010.  The Ministers urged the other Working Groups (i.e. Customs Procedures and Economic Cooperation) to intensify internal discussions with the view to opening up discussions to ASEAN’s FTA partners as soon as possible.  The Ministers underscored the importance of ASEAN centrality in the process of regional economic integration in East Asia.  The Ministers agreed to submit a progress report of the ASEAN Plus Working Groups to the Leaders at the 13th ASEAN Plus Three Summit.

6. The Ministers welcomed and exchanged views on China’s concept paper on trade facilitation, i.e. the Roadmap on Trade Facilitation among ASEAN Plus Three.  The Ministers noted that most of the measures in the proposed Roadmap came from the Workshop on Trade Facilitation among ASEAN Plus China, Japan and Korea that was held in Changchun, China on 24-25 November 2009.  The Ministers expressed appreciation to China for hosting the Workshop and encouraged countries to continue this effort.

7.  The Ministers re-affirmed the importance of improving trade facilitation among the ASEAN Plus Three countries.  The Ministers noted the decision of the ASEAN Economic Ministers to refer China’s proposal to the ASEAN Plus Working Groups for assessment and consideration in the context of their ongoing consolidation work.

ASEAN+3 Cooperation in Response to the Global Economic and Financial Crisis

8. The Ministers noted the progress in the implementation of economic cooperation projects and welcomed China’ s proposal to organise the “Workshop on the Effects of the Global Financial Crisis on Trade and Investment in ASEAN Plus Three Countries and Countermeasures” in Kunming, Yunnan Province in November 2010.  The workshop will study measures in response to the financial crisis and focus on how to strengthen regional cooperation and improve the stability of national economies, etc.

World Trade Organization (WTO)

9. The Ministers exchanged views on recent developments in the Doha Development Round in the WTO.  The Ministers reaffirmed the importance they attach to the multilateral trading system in sustaining economic growth and development, and promoting economic stability. The Ministers reaffirmed their commitment for active contribution to the conclusion of the WTO Doha Development Round, with balanced and ambitious outcomes as soon as possible.  The Ministers also reiterated their support to the accession of Lao PDR to the WTO at the earliest possible time.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

10. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the Meeting of APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade held in Sapporo on 5-6 June 2010, and APEC Growth Strategy High Level Round Table held in Beppu on 7-8 August, 2010.  They looked forward to the fruitful outcomes at the APEC Leaders’ and Ministerial Meetings on 10-14 November 2010 in Yokohama.

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LIST OF MINISTERS

1. Dato Paduka Lim Jock Hoi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Brunei Darussalam

2. H.E. Cham Prasidh, Senior Minister and Minister of Commerce, Cambodia

3. H.E. Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce, China

4. H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade, Indonesia

5. H.E. Masayuki Naoshima, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan

6. H.E. Mr. Kim Jong-Hoon, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea

7. H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR

8. H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia

9. H.E. U Soe Tha, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar

10. H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines

11. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore

12. H.E. Porntiva Nakasai, Minister of Commerce, Thailand

13. H.E. Vu Huy Hoang, Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam

14. H.E. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN

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