Commerce Minister Aphiradi Tantraporn attended the 23rd AEM Retreat in Manila, Philippines, which was held during 8-10 March, addressing that the meeting agreed on the establishment of RCEP and agreed to conclude the results of its talks within this year. The ministers also agreed to lift duty fees for 90% of over 5,000-6,000 products within 15 years.
At the meeting, Thailand signed the 2nd ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA), while the ASEAN Economic Ministers endorsed the operation plan and the ASEAN regulatory guidelines that will be in place for the next 10 years.
The AEM Retreat and related meetings also considered reviving the ASEAN-EU FTA by proposing that a framework for the agreement be submitted to the next ASEAN ministerial meeting, says the Commerce Minister.
The ASEAN-EU FTA has been halted since 2009. It is believed that this dialogue will benefit both ASEAN and EU.