In Bangkok, Thailand (Source: AFP)
 
Bangkok (VNA) - The ASEAN Economic Ministers' (AEM) Retreat, scheduled for April 23-24 in Thailand’s Phuket,  is expected to see the signing of two vital agreements - the ASEAN Trade in Services Agreement (ATISA) and the fourth protocol amending the ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement (ACIA).

Director General of the Thai Trade Negotiations Department Auramon Supthaweethum said as ASEAN Chair 2019, Thailand will focus on three major contents covering 13 economic priorities, including future orientations, connectivity enhancement and sustainable development.

ATISA is meant to deepen the integration of the ASEAN services markets and introduce commitments related to services trade, creating a liberalised, stable and predictable environment for service suppliers in the region.

It replaces the current services agreement that was introduced in 1995, benefiting services in healthcare, tourism, accommodation, construction, convention and exhibition services.

ACIA covers not just ASEAN in­vestors, but also foreign investors in ASEAN countries, helping to make the region more attract­ive to foreign investments. 

ASEAN member countries completed negotiations on the two pacts late last year.

Two-way trade between Thailand and ASEAN grew by 13 percent to 114 billion USD last year. Exports and imports reached 68.4 billion USD and 45.5 billion USD, respectively. ASEAN accounted for 27 percent of Thailand’s exports.-VNA