Containers for export at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri (Photo: www.bangkokpost.com)
 
Bangkok (VNA) – The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) was satisfied with negotiations over ASEAN trade facilitation procedures, in which all members agreed to form and implement guidelines on non-tariff measures, said the Thai Ministry of Commerce.

Director-general of the Trade Negotiations Department of Thailand Auramon Supthaweethum said the ASEAN committee had many meetings last week, including the EU-ASEAN Business Council and the US-ASEAN Business Council.  

She added that ASEAN members agreed to implement the guidelines on non-tariff measures. Under the guidelines, all members are informed before the implementation of non-tariff measures and each measure should be applied as reasonable and necessary, while public hearings should be held with stakeholders before implementation, Auramon noted.

After implementation, ASEAN countries have to review and evaluate impact by setting up national trade facilitation committees in each country to regulate the trade measures in line with the World Trade Organization (WTO).

She said the committee resolved to reduce trade transaction costs by 10 percent in 2020 under a resolution of the ASEAN Economic Ministers meeting in 2017.

The Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) will cooperate with 10 member nations to gauge trade transaction cost reductions, such as how long imports are held at customs checkpoints, waiting time at the pier and time required for admission documents. The study will be completed before the deadline in 2020, Auramon said.

Thailand is the ASEAN Chair for 2019 and the third Meeting of the Senior Economic Officials (SEOM) is underway until July 18.

ASEAN member countries together form Thailand's largest trade partner. In 2018, bilateral trade value grew 13 percent from 2017 to near 114 billion USD. -VNA