ASEAN economic ministers have endorsed Brunei’s 10 Priority Economic Deliverables (PEDs) as ASEAN Chair for 2021 with theme “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper.”
|Overview of the online conference. Source: asean2021.bn|
The information was unveiled following the conclusion of 2-day 27th ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) Retreat that took place from March 2-3 via video conferencing.
Divided into three strategic thrusts, the PEDs among others will focus on:
(i) Recovery of the region through initiatives such as streamlining non-tariff measures and investment facilitation, providing a recovery plan for ASEAN tourism sector, and open new market and partnership for ASEAN with the launch of the possible ASEAN-Canada FTA negotiations;
(ii) Digitalization for a resilient ASEAN by focusing on the work in providing a safe, secure, and harmonized e-commerce environment and digital ecosystem. This includes initiatives such as the ASEAN Agreement on E Commerce and a regional action plan in the area of cyberspace; and
(iii) Sustainability efforts towards advancing an inclusive and sustainable economic growth through initiatives such as support and guidance for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), development of a regional framework for Circular Economy and cooperation in sustainable energy transitions.
|Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh. Source: MoIT|
Attending the meeting, Vietnam’s Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh expressed support for Brunei’s initiatives as the Chair of ASEAN in 2021, stressing the country is committed to closely cooperating with other ASEAN members in realizing the common goal of an ASEAN Economic Community.
“Vietnam will share its experience with other countries in efforts to contain the Covid-19, aiming to realize economic development goals along with realizing commitments under the ASEAN and ASEAN+ frameworks,” Khanh said.
The meeting also discussed and provided guidance on the post COVID-19 recovery efforts in the region including initiatives implemented under ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework; Progress under the ASEAN Economic Community including 2021 priorities of sectoral bodies under the purview of AEM and the Post 2025 Vision for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC); ASEAN external economic relations including progress in ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement as well as status of the review on ASEAN-India Trade in Goods Agreement (AITIGA).
In this regard, ministers stressed the importance of accelerating each country’s internal approval for the RCEP to aid the region’s economic recovery in the post-Covid-19 period.