Policymakers gathered at a workshop in Jakarta on June 18 to discuss advances and challenges in service integration of ASEAN member countries.

The two-day event was held by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), and the ASEAN Secretariat, together with the support of the Australian Government via the ASEAN-Australia development cooperation programme.

Participants discussed trade issues in services, development trends and emerging challenges in the field.

Director of the Market Integration Directorate from the ASEAN Secretariat Ho Quang Trung said the forum aims to promote the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) and study global value chains and management cooperation.

He noted that the member states are integrating more deeply and finalising tasks to establish the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) at the end of this year.

The implementation of the AFAS is intended to remove restrictions in trade services between member nations and thus improve the competitiveness of ASEAN service suppliers, he added.

Bokhwan Yu, a representative from the ADBI, said the bloc has signed eight commitment packages under the AFAS providing detailed commitments of each member country in services.

Additionally, there are four supplementary commitment packages in financial services and five in the aviation transport sector.-VNA