The 45th ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM-45) and related meetings opened in Brunei on August 19, with discussions on establishing the ASEAN economic community by 2015 topping the agenda.

The AEM-45 and related meetings, including the 27th ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Council Meeting, the 16 th ASEAN Investment Area (AIA) Council Meeting, the AEM Working Lunch with ASEAN Business Advisory Meeting, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Participating Countries Ministerial Meeting, will run until August 21.

The meetings are expected to review the region's performance given the current economic situation and discuss ways ASEAN can increase its regional competitiveness while further strengthening its position as a key player in the international supply chain.
The ministers will discuss progress that has been made in deepening integration between and amongst all ASEAN member states, especially on trade-in goods, services, and investment.

They will also review the status of ASEAN's cooperation with economies in their engagement with counterparts from ASEAN Dialogue partners, and discuss measures to strengthen partnerships in the overall strategy for ASEAN to be fully integrated into the global economy.

Annual consultations by ASEAN economic ministers with their counterparts from all ASEAN Dialogue Partners, including China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, the US, Canada and Russia, will also be held.

Besides the main meetings, there will also be the 3rd ASEAN Investment Forum, the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS), and the ASEAN-China Youth Forum.

After the AEM, a ministerial-level meeting on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will take place on August 22.-VNA