ASEAN economic integration is always an important part of Vietnam’s foreign economic policy and the country commits itself to making active contributions to building a strong ASEAN Economic Community.

Vietnam affirmed its stance at the 43rd ASEAN Economic Ministers Meeting (AEM-43) that took place in Indonesia on August 10 and 11.

At the two-day conference, economic ministers reviewed the recent results in trade in goods, trade services and investment during the economic integration process.

They agreed that ASEAN economic cooperation has seen real and intensive developments on the basis of the legal framework of the ASEAN Charter, the Master Plan for the ASEAN Economic Community and the strategic roadmap for the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

ASEAN economic ministers reached consensus on focusing resources to develop the third pillar of equal development in the master plan on the ASEAN Economic Community, paying attention to implementation of programmes within the framework of the ASEAN Integration Initiative (IAI), the development and assistance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), boosting cooperation in the protection of intellectual property rights and devising competition policies, consumer protection and trade statistics.

The ministers acknowledged the negotiation and implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreements between ASEAN and its dialogue partners, including China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and India. They discussed orientations to solve existing issues in the negotiation and measures to maintain ASEAN’s central role in the shaping regional architecture.

They assigned senior officials to soon build modes of economic cooperation between ASEAN and partners in East Asia with priority given to trade in goods.

This model will be a tool for ASEAN to put forward a common rule in which ASEAN keeps the leading role and maintains its equal and proactive connectivity in the relationship with its partners.

The 25th ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) Council Meeting and the 14th ASEAN Investment Area Council Meeting took place on the sidelines of the 43rd AEM./.