The third ASEAN Investment Forum opened in Brunei’s capital city of Banda Seri Begawan on August 19, focusing on supply chain in the association and how to enhance ASEAN’s role in the global chain.

Participants, who were leaders of the ASEAN Heads Investment Agencies (AHIA), agreed to work on specific measures, while enhancing cooperation and collaboration between investment promotion agencies of member countries.

The same day, representatives of 16 Asia-Pacific countries started the first ministerial level negotiation with the aim to establish the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which will be one of the largest free trade groups in the world.

Ministers of 10 ASEAN countries and six regional partners, namely China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand are scheduled to discuss ways to promote negotiations on tariff cuts and abolishment within the framework of the RCEP.

Earlier, RCEP members started the negotiations in November, 2012 and held the first working-level negotiation round in May, with the aim of reaching the final agreement by 2015.

The RCEP will create a free trade area with 3 billion people, accounting for one third of the global GDP.-VNA