Regional ministers seek ways to facilitate ASEAN trade
Economic ministers from ASEAN member nations convened an online meeting on June 4 to implement instructions from ASEAN leaders made at the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 on April 14.
Tran Tuan Anh, Minister of Industry and Trade of Viet Nam, which holds the ASEAN Chairmanship 2020, chaired the meeting.
The ministers approved the Hanoi Action Plan, which aims to enhance economic cooperation within the bloc and connect supply chains amid the changing circumstances in the region caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The action plan was built on the basis of a joint statement from ASEAN economic ministers, which was proposed by Viet Nam and adopted at the ASEAN Economic Ministers Retreat in March.
It includes concrete measures to reboot ASEAN’s economy, such as maintaining commitments to market opening to ensure food security and enhancing the capacity for recovery and sustainability in regional supply chains.
Apart from avoiding new and unnecessary non-tariff measures, the bloc will also build a platform to facilitate regional trade and promote and support supply chain connectivity.
It will also optimise technologies and digital commerce to assist enterprises, especially micro-small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
The approval of the action plan demonstrates the role of the ASEAN Community in responding and adapting to COVID-19 as well as Viet Nam’s ASEAN Chairmanship in 2020.
The ministers also looked into joint statements issued by business advisory councils, including the ASEAN Business Advisory Council./.