KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) - The discussions on Association of South-East Asian Nations' (ASEAN) internal economic-related affairs, which were held in the Philippines at the 31th ASEAN Free Trade Agreement Council, explored issues related to tariff commitments and applicable rules under the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA).
In a statement today, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) said, efforts were on-going to reduce and eventually end the identified Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs) and Non-Tariff Measures (NTMs) within the association's member states.
"Malaysia, in particular, continues to play an active role especially in championing the efforts to resolve the long-standing issues of NTBs and NTMs," it said.
To-date, out of the total 74 reported NTMs/NTBs, 54 cases had been resolved, it said.
MITI said the ministers also underlined the importance of the ASEAN Solutions for Investments, Services and Trade, an Internet-based and business-friendly facility launched during Malaysia's Chairmanship of ASEAN in 2015, to handle complaints by the enterprises in the association.
The ministry said in realising the ASEAN Economic Ministers' mandate to double the intra-regional trade by 2025, the ministers noted the on-going initiatives by the ASEAN Single Window, which has been implemented since Aug 1, 2017 and work currently undertaken in adhering to the ASEAN-Wide Self-Certification Scheme deadline by 2018.
On ASEAN trade facilitation, MITI said, the ministers noted the completion of the ASEAN Economic Community's 2025 Trade Facilitation Strategic Action Plan for 2017-2025 and reaffirmed the target of 10 per cent reduction in trade transaction costs by 2020.
On the Fifth Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) ministerial meeting, which was held on Sept 10, 2017 in Pasay City, Philippines, MITI said, the ministers reiterated The objective of the RCEP was for a modern, comprehensive, high-quality and mutually-beneficially economic partnership agreement.