1. The Fourteenth Consultations between the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) and Economic Ministers of the People’s Republic of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea were held on 12 August 2011 in Manado, Indonesia. The Consultations were co-chaired by H.E. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Trade of Indonesia; H.E. Chen Deming, Minister of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China; Mr. Kenji Goto, Deputy Director General, Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry of Japan; and H.E. Kim Jong-Hoon, Minister for Trade of the Republic of Korea.
2. The Ministers exchanged views on regional and global economic developments, in particular Japan’s economic recovery from the recent earthquake and tsunami. The Ministers recognised the importance of securing the prompt return of the smooth flow of goods, services and people in the region. The Ministers were pleased to note that ASEAN trade with the Plus Three Countries remained robust. In 2010, total trade recorded an increase of 28.9 per cent amounting to US$533.3 billion, which was higher than before the decline in 2009. Exports and imports grew by 34.9 per cent and 23.5 per cent, respectively. Total trade with Plus Three Countries accounted for 26.1 per cent share of ASEAN’s total trade in 2010.
3. Total foreign direct investment (FDI) flow from the Plus Three Countries into ASEAN remained on an upward trend, recording a surge of 62.4 per cent amounting to US$14.9 billion in 2010 from US$9.2 billion in 2009. FDI flow from the Plus Three Countries accounted for one fifth of the total FDI flows into ASEAN in 2010.
4. The Ministers recalled the Leaders’ consensus that ASEAN Plus Three process continues to be a main vehicle to achieve the long-term goal of building an East Asian community. The ASEAN Plus Three process and the EAS should play a complementary and mutually reinforcing role with other regional mechanisms in community building efforts. Recommendations in the EAFTA and CEPEA Studies are currently being examined and considered in parallel.
East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA)
5. The Ministers were pleased to note the progress of the four ASEAN Plus Working Groups (APWGs) that were tasked to look into the recommendations of the EAFTA and CEPEA Studies relevant to rules of origin, tariff nomenclature, customs procedures and economic cooperation. The Ministers welcomed the Seminar on EAFTA hosted by China on 1 March 2011 in Ma’anshan, Anhui Province of China. The Ministers noted that the APWG on Tariff Nomenclature has completed its work and urged the other APWGs to intensify their discussions and finalise their recommendations before the 19th ASEAN Leaders’ Summit in November 2011.
6. The Ministers welcomed and exchanged views on the joint proposal by China and Japan, “Initiative on Speeding up the Establishment of an East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA)”.
7. To ensure the economic integration within ASEAN as well as with Dialogue Partners, the Ministers noted that ASEAN is still working on the structure and template for the ASEAN ++ FTA, which would include an appropriate institutional mechanism, and is taking into account the joint proposal by China and Japan in developing recommendations by November 2011.
8. The Ministers look forward to considering the ASEAN proposed structure and template for the ASEAN ++ FTA and would also give further consideration to the joint proposal by China and Japan at that time. The Ministers instructed Senior Officials to meet in November 2011 to initially consider these proposals and advise Ministers. The Ministers reiterated the importance of ASEAN Centrality in the expanded regional economic integration process.
ASEAN Plus Three Economic Cooperation
9. The Ministers appreciated the on-going Japanese cooperation including the effort of the training programme for improving the quality of logistics in ASEAN.
10. The Ministers recognised the recent adoption of the Terms of Reference of the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) II by the 12th ASEAN Plus Three Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on 23 July 2011 in Bali, Indonesia. The Ministers looked forward to the final recommendation of the EAVG II to the Leaders at the 15th ASEAN Plus Three Summit in 2012, which will stock-take all previous and current activities in order to chart the future direction of the ASEAN Plus Three cooperation.
11. The Ministers noted the progress made in the implementation of ASEAN Plus Three projects, including the ICT Cooperation Towards Co-Prosperity in East Asia Project currently implemented by the Republic of Korea. This project is intended to bridge the digital divide and to build capacity of developing countries.
LIST OF MINISTERS
1. H.E. Pehin Dato Lim Jock Seng, Second Minister, 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. Mahendra Siregar, Vice Minister of Trade, Indonesia
6. Mr. Kenji Goto, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
7. H.E. Kim Jong-hoon, Minister for Trade, Republic of Korea
8. H.E. Nam Viyaketh, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Lao PDR
9. H.E. Dato’ Sri Mustapa Mohamed, Minister of International Trade and Industry, Malaysia
10. H.E. U Tin Naing Thein, Minister for National Planning and Economic Development, Myanmar
11. H.E. Gregory L. Domingo, Secretary of Trade and Industry, the Philippines
12. H.E. Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore
13. Mr. Yangyong Phuangrach, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce, Thailand
14. H.E. Nguyen Cam Tu, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Viet Nam
15. H.E. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN