The value of ASEAN trade with the plus three countries;China, Japan and South Korea, decreased last year while Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) increased from the same three countries.
In 2015, ASEAN total trade with the plus three countries amounted to US$708.6 billion and accounted for 31.1 percent of ASEAN’s total trade while the total FDI flowing from the plus three countries into ASEAN was valued at US$31 billion.
The figures were reported at the 19th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Plus Three consultation meeting in Vientiane yesterday, which was co-chaired by the Minister of Industry and Commerce of Laos Ms Khemmani Pholsena, the Minister of Commerce of China, Mr. Gao Hucheng, the Director General of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s Multilateral Trade System Department of Japan, Mr. Tetsuya Watanabe, and the Minister of Trade, Industry and Energy of Korea, Mr. Joo Hyunghwan.
In 2014, total trade between ASEAN and the plus three countries reached US$727.1 billion, accounting for 28.8 percent of ASEAN’s total trade with the total foreign direct investment (FDI) from the plus three countries into ASEAN reaching US$26.7 billion according to a joint media statement at the 18th AEM plus three meetings in Malaysia last year.
At this latest AEM plus three consultation, plus three countries’ ministers have commended the establishment of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015 as a major milestone in regional economic integration.
They also welcomed the new AEC Blueprint 2025, which envisages an AEC by 2025 that is highly integrated and cohesive; competitive, innovative and dynamic; with enhanced connectivity and sectoral cooperation; a more resilient, inclusive, and people-oriented, people- centred community; as well as integrated with the global economy.
At this year’s meeting, ministers also noted the strong trade and investment relations between ASEAN and the plus three countries, especially amidst the uncertainty in global economic recovery.
Ministers also commended the East Asia Business Council (EABC) for its efforts to promote economic integration in the region and noted the report by the EABC on the progress of its activities and its recommendations, which included continuing private sector’s engagement in East Asia economic integration and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, building capacity and enhancing integration among East Asian MSMEs and facilitating e-commerce development in East Asia.
Ministers were pleased to note the collaboration among the EABC, ASEAN-China Centre, ASEAN-Japan Centre, and ASEAN-Korea Centre in promoting trade and investment in the larger context of ASEAN plus three cooperation.
Source: Vientiane Times